Dodge Family

of Stockport, Cheshire

The earliest known antecedent of the Dodge family, who were pioneer settlers in the USA, was Peter Dodge in the time of Edward I (1274-1307). He was held in high esteem by the king for services to the crown and because of this he was granted arms (Ensigns and Arms of Honour). The original patent, written in Norman French, survives in the Heraldic Library of England and it shows that Peter Dodge was a native of Stopworth in the County of Chester. Stopworth, also known as Stopford, ultimately became Stockport.

The grant was given 'ยทยทยทยท on the 8th day of April, in the Thirty Fourth year of the reign of our said Sovereign Lord, Edward, son of King Henry (III), after the Conquest, of the First of that name (that is, Edward I).' This date means that the grant was given on the 8 April 1307, the final year of the reign of Edward I.

Arms of Peter Dodge.

In the 16th and early 17th centuries, the Dodge family were still to be found living in the Stockport area. Some of these are shown below but no attempt has been made to interpret family relationships.

Born c.1564, of Heaton, Cheshire. Married Jane Hulme on 15 December 1589 at Heaton Norris, Cheshire. Born c.1567 of Manchester, Lancashire. Married Isabell Boulton on the 29 October 1592 in Manchester. This couple had five children:
  1. George Dodge: Baptised 6 May 1593, buried 11 May 1593.
  2. Otywell Dodge: Baptised 9 March 1595 at Manchester Collegiate Church (Manchester Cathedral).
  3. Margaret Dodge: Baptised 18 July 1596 in Manchester.
  4. George Dodge: Baptised 16 December 1597 in Manchester. (He was named George after his deceased brother).
  5. Isabell Dodge: Baptised 30 August 1601 in Manchester.
Married Jone Fyshe at Manchester Collegiate Church on 20 July 1600. Born c.1574 at Stockport. Parents, George Dodge and Joane Owldon. Born 1600 at Stockport. Parents, Robert Dodge and Dionisia Barber. Born c.1602 in Suffolk (possibly), died on 15 June 1671 at Beverly, Massachusetts, USA. Baptised 7 February 1574 at Manchester Collegiate Church. Son of Otywell Dodge.

It is known that from the 15th century until 1841 that the family seat of the Dodge family was at Halliday Hill Farm in Offerton, Stockport, Cheshire. This suggests that Peter Dodge and his descendents were farmers who cultivated their own land, especially that they were members of a class of freeholders in England. It was possible for a yeoman to become a lesser official in royal or noble households and it appears that this happened to Peter Dodge. Halliday Hill Farm, which is in the Foggbrook area of Offerton, is now listed as Grade II.

William le Dogge became mayor of Stockport in 1433, during the reign of Henry VI (1422-1461 and 1470/71 after 'readeption' i.e. reclaiming royal power), and the last member of the family to hold this office was Samuel Dodge in 1812, during the reign of George III (1738-1820). A total of 17 members of the Dodge family were mayors of Stockport over this period. In January 2000, a blue plaque commemorating the Dodge family, was erected at Halliday Hill Farm.

The Dodge family connection with the USA commenced when two Dodge brothers emigrated to the USA, arriving at Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, on the 10 July 1629. One was William Dodge (listed above) but the identity of the other brother seems to be unknown. Many people in the USA, who bear the surname Dodge, are descended from these two brothers. However, the Stockport Dodge family was not the only Dodge family to settle in the USA and one notable member was Tristram Dodge (born in the USA 1647/48) whose antecedents were Tristram Dodge Senior, John Dodge and Isaac Dodge, respectively, all born in Suffolk, England.

The Dodge surname is commemorated in the USA by:
Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Dodge City, Kansas.
Dodge Brothers, Motor Cars.

In addition, the world's first transcontinental railway was built across the USA in the 1860s, linking the railway network of the Eastern United States with California on the Pacific coast. The Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Central Pacific Railroad Company built the line to the east and west respectively, the western side being very challenging to build because of the Rocky Mountains (Rockies).

The Union Pacific Railroad Company hired Grenville M Dodge as their Chief Engineer.

Grenville M Dodge in the
uniform of a Major General.