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Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

StacyAannestad (View posts)
Posted: 27 Nov 2009 7:28PM GMT
Classification: Military
Surnames: Hodge
I don't know if anyone can help me with this, but I'll try. My 5-greats grandfather, Alexander Hodge, lived in SC and fought in the Revolutionary War. He has been honored by the DAR, particularly in Texas where he lived when he died in 1836. He was also one of the original colonists with Stephen F. Austin ("Old Three Hundred").

I've been trying to track down his Rev. War information. According to the DAR, he fought for North Carolina, was from Mecklenburg Co, and served with Francis Marion "The Swamp Fox" Fox. However, when I looked up Alexander Hodge and found his pension info (at Footnote.com), there was a great deal of information that completely conflicts with what I do know about Hodge. The Alex. Hodge in the pension info is the same as what the DAR has, but there is no mention of him ever having moved from Mecklenburg Co, and his death date is different. MY Alexander Hodge was born in Pennsylvania, lived in South Carolina at the time of the war, moved right after the war to Georgia, then migrated through Kentucky and Arkansas to Texas, dying in August 1836.

How do I go about finding out the real Rev. War story on Hodge? I know our account of him is accurate. Can the DAR ever be wrong? I'm just totally confused ...

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

frostfreedet (View posts)
Posted: 28 Nov 2009 7:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
If you look at the current listing for Alexander Hodge who served from SC,

http://216.36.105.133/DAR%5FResearch/search_adb/default.cfm

You will see that the listing says he died in Columbus, Colorado Co, TX 17 Aug 1836, and by looking at the items from clicking on the DAR Member number links, the service claimed was under the Swamp Fox.

The latest applicant under him has an old DAR number, I think from the 1960s, but most importantly the listing is 'flagged' with the notation that future applicants must prove service. There is no statement of service or reference to a pension application file. The first member under him has a number that may indicate application before the 1920s.

So this is one of the many thousands of instances where DAR has discovered an error: in service attributed to a particular person by previous applicant-members, or in applicants' accounts of descent. Just as in this example, in the days before DAR adopted more rigorous evidence standards for proof of service or proof of relationship, many mistakes were made in the course of drawing conclusions from looking at a limited range of evidence.

Sidebar: I know of this from experience regarding one of my ancestors. He spun quite a tale in his pension applicaton, and the Pension Office granted him a pension. However the service record he claimed shows desertion after about 6 months in the Continentals. DAR (in 1940s-1950s) accepted the pension file as proof of his service, and never required real evidence that the applicants even descended from this man. I actually suspect that my ancestor claimed another man's service, but was not aware that the other man had deserted.

You have concluded that the person whose pension file you looked at could not be your ancestor. I suspect that at some time in the past 30 years, the DAR genealogical staff drew the same conclusion.

So either your ancestor did not have the service that was said by family members, or he actually did but another person by the same name claimed his service.

Not being a member of your family, it is not difficult for me to look at the possibility that someone in the family did some superficial genealogical research and found a name on a list (whether a militia roster, an index to service records in the Continentals, or a list of pensioners, such as the one published for Congress in the 1800s). The genealogical mistake, "same name = same person" is the most common one, and was much more common 50 and 100 years ago than it is today. DAR and other lineage societies accepted such reasoning long ago.

Naturally the local DAR chapter to which probably some members under the old Alexander Hodge applications belonged, would have accepted what National accepted. It is likely that the local chapter Regent(s) assisted with the applications in the 1940s-1960s, even back to the earliest one. With more than 20 women entering DAR under your Texas ancestor, it is no wonder that there would be a strong family tradition.

I can't tell from the listing when National Society DAR concluded there was a problem with the proof of service, but it could have taken place around the time of the Bicentennial, when many new applicants presented disproofs of descents or of service that had previously been accepted, but which were based on faulty research.

I know it may be difficult to accept that all the past local DAR activity might have been based on faulty information, but this is really not uncommon.

As another sidebar example, one of my ancestors had a local chapter place a DAR marker on his gravestone in the 1960s. Yes, his rather common *name* appears on a militia list, but no one ever (successfully) applied for DAR membership under that or other alleged service on his part. I would never be able to learn if there had been *unsuccessful* applications No one in the chapter placing the marker was even one of his descendants. How placement of the marker came about is a bit mysterious; National Society is supposed to approve such placements, but repeated queries in different directions have not resulted in any explanation for it.

If I were in your place I would contact the nearest DAR chapter and ask for assistance with investigating whether your ancestor was actually the one with the service claimed by another person. It really did not happen often, but it is not impossible. As you must realize, it would also be very difficult to prove.

By the way, "Swamp Fox's" name was Francis Marion ('Fox' part of his nickname, not his surname). You can look at a quick biography on Wikipedia.

Sometimes we simply have to accept that since we are all human, we make mistakes, and so do others. If today there were a DAR membership applicant under the ancestor mentioned in my first sidebar, above, the conscientious DAR Chapter Regent would suggest that she pick a different line to research for possible Patriot Service. Perhaps you can look at this possibility as well.

I wish you good hunting!

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

StacyAannestad (View posts)
Posted: 28 Nov 2009 11:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hodge
Wow, thank you so much for all the great information! At least I do know he was one of the Old Three Hundred -- that's not only in his granddaughter's memoirs (she was involved in the Runaway Scrape along with him), but there is proof positive in historical documents that solidify this claim.

How sad that the medallions on his grave and the monument in a Houston park are probably based on false information! With the internet access to the Alexander Hodge pension app, it sure seems obvious that this is not the same guy as the one who settled Texas! My Alexander Hodge died in Fort Bend County in 1836, not long after the Runaway Scrape (he had contracted pneumonia after slogging through days of rain, and died of that, from what I understand). So, clearly, the two are not the same.

Anyway, I appreciate the effort you put in for this answer! It was/is very helpful!

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

frostfreedet (View posts)
Posted: 29 Nov 2009 3:29AM GMT
Classification: Query
Our ancestors each had their own histories, and we can be proud of what many of them did in their communities or even a wider way. Most did the best they could with what was at hand.

It is not their 'fault' that some descendants may have taken up mistaken ideas about them, or had stories about them published in the County Histories that were comfortable for the descendants' beliefs at the time.

We have many more resources available to us now, and so much more easily, than did the curious or serious researchers of 50 and 100 years ago. With perseverence and honest evaluation of what we learn, we can hope to have a better view of the whole picture, and appreciate our forebears all the more.

I am glad to have been of some help, and wish you all the best.

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

StacyAannestad (View posts)
Posted: 6 Jan 2010 5:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: HODGE
Well, today I was looking through a typewritten transcript of Hodge's granddaughter Clarinda Pevehouse Kegans' memoirs, and she directly mentions that he fought in the Revolutionary War under Francis Marion, in the swamps of South Carolina, and that this is where he learned that drinking vinegar water could fight off fevers. (She was telling the story of how he had kept her and other family members from catching the fevers that ravaged other people during the Runaway Scrape they were involved in during the Texas Revolution.) SO ... I have no reason to believe she or he lied, AND I realized when looking through the pension application papers I had treed on Footnote.com, the Alexander Hodge in these papers was said to have fought for NORTH Carolina, and never is General Marion mentioned.

So maybe MY Alexander Hodge never applied for a pension, and this is simply a case of two people having the same name.

It's horribly confusing, but for now I'm feeling better about his status as a Revolutionary War veteran ... at least until it's proven otherwise!

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

frostfreedet (View posts)
Posted: 8 Jan 2010 2:45AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hodge
One possibility is that the earlier applicants under your ancestor submitted the wrong evidence (based on "same name = same person"). Maybe they could not find evidence linking the actual ancestor with actual service. It would not be the first time this happened.

With all that's been published and unearthed since then, it is certainly possible that you might find some linking data. Maybe a vacation in the South Carolina Archives is in your future :D

I wish you good hunting!

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

StacyAannestad (View posts)
Posted: 8 Jan 2010 3:32AM GMT
Classification: Query
I think that's a definite possiblity (the wrong evidence thing). It's entirely possible that my Alexander Hodge didn't ever file a pension application, as he was too busy helping his family establish a new life in Texas (maybe didn't find the time, it was too much trouble, whatever). I would love to visit South Carolina someday, so now I have a "purpose" for going!

Thanks so much for helping me along here!

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

ontno1 (View posts)
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 12:09AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hodge
I do not believe the Alexander Hodge cited by so many DAR applicants is my/your ancestor.
Born in Pennsylvania, our Alexander headed South before the war, stopping in Maryland long enough for the birth of a daughter, finally settling in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. There is no evidence that I can find to prove his Revolutionary War service: no pension application and no record on the muster rolls of Marion, but there were many irregulars that fought with Marion that may not have signed muster rolls. Lack of a pension application does not, in itself, prove lack of service.
After the war, he crossed the river into Georgia, read for the law, and raised a family. In 1808 he was in Christian County, Kentucky, and by 1812/1813 in Missouri Territory. Family history has that he learned of The Battle of New Orleans as the family crossed the Mississippi. He became a magistrate in Arkansas Territory and befriended Moses and Steven Fuller Austin, emigrating to Austin's Texas colony in 1825, where he again practiced law and assumed a judgeship.
Family history conflicts with the reports that he died at Columbus, stating instead that he expired from pneumonia at his Hodge's Bend plantation on Oyster Creek.
I choose to believe that he simply never applied for a pension rather than that he lied about his service. His grandson and my gggrandfather, born in 1827 after the death of his father, William, was named by William Marion Hodge by Alexander.

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

StacyAannestad (View posts)
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 2:21AM GMT
Classification: Query
What you say makes a lot of sense, and I would venture to guess that you're right. Lots of good info here, so thank you!

Re: Alexander Hodge, fought with/under Francis Marion Fox, Rev. War

thefensk (View posts)
Posted: 21 Oct 2012 11:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hodge Kegans
Wow, so many distant cousins posting here.

Our family has lived in the Houston area continuously since the Republic, and any stories I ever heard were centered primarily on the Texas accomplishments, which were many. There were indeed many irregulars working with the swamp fox and Alexander Hodge was quite young when he joined the fight so it is quite possible he was not on any roles. Also, according to histories he was always pushing west ... I wouldn't put much store in pension data. He basically didn't live in the US anymore.
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