Richard Hodges was English born, Elizabeth was born in Virginia to a family that had been in the colonies for some time. She was illiterate signing with an X on her own will. It is not a sin to be illiterate it is a sin to judge her to be less than she was for it.
On 14 April 1764 Richard and Elizabeth sold property in South Farnham, Essex county, Virginia. The land was described as that land formerly purchased by Richard from Augustine Washington and Ann his wife.
Between the time of this sale and the American Revolution the family moved to District 76 in South Carolina. Later it was Abbeville County. Now the land is just outside Hodges South Carolina. The land was described in Elizabeth's will as; 170 Acres lying on Mulberry Creek the waters of Saluda River.
No other family has had as much scrutiny as this Hodges family. Before the American Depression a book was written that was a great help to most of us. Moraigne's in America had most of Richard's children listed and his wife's name correct. I believe they erred because of the more famous member of the family who stayed in South Carolina, Richard's son Major John Hodges, the father of George Washington Hodges. It was an assumption that put a plug in true directional searching for many years. Colonel Al Metts who is in his nineties now spent a good deal of money researching Richard Hodges in Virginia. He found records on taxes, legal records, land sales records and marriage records but they were all Richard with Elizabeth. He believed the ancestor's name was Richard. Colonel Al Metts retired joined an email list where he found six of us who were intent on finding Richard's true name and back story. It was a gentleman in Florida who found Nathaniel Ware Hodges' personal history naming Richard. For us the evidence Colonel Al Metts retired had found in Virginia and the Nathaniel Ware Hodges personal history was a game changer!
His name was Richard! We now went to the big cities, all the counties up and down the coast looking for a birth, or christening record that would give us his parents names. It didn't take long for all of us to give it up again. There was nothing there at all.
A friend told me he'd found a young Richard Hodges born in England who was a bond servant at a Tobacco farm in Essex County Virginia. The dates were right but I couldn't believe then that our ancestor hadn't come with the Virginia Company in 1511. I wanted too much for the story to be heroic. I was too judgmental on the bond servant idea. However, as time passed and nothing else showed up I allowed myself to believe that Richard must have been a bond servant. In fact I've decided that it is a heroic story. Richard's father John had to find a way to get his children to the land of promise. So he sold them into a soft form of slavery, even Richard who was five years old! I can only imagine the fear and longing for his home and mother Richard must have gone through as that ship left England.
Bond servants were instructed to treat their masters like great ladies and gentlemen. She was "My Lady" and he was "Sir". Every command must be obeyed or you could receive a horrible beating. Everybody was beating their children to teach them to work and obey so a beating of a young bond servant wasn't such a horrible thing really. Richard seems to have turned out just fine. He could read and write and figure his finances.