The Hughes Family History

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  • ID: I6697
  • Name: Richard (Sr.) Bodkin
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1710 in Va. 1
  • Event: DAR
  • _MILI: REV War, DAR Patroit 1780
  • Reference Number: *
  • Note:
    The following article was extracted from the book,
    "Descendants of John Bodkin (1781-1855)" compiled by
    G.N. Botkin, M.A. Botkin, B.A. Botkin. (Orignal copy on file.)

    This un-Irish sounding name is intimately
    connected with Galway, the Bodkins being one of
    the fourteen tribes of that city. They are, in
    fact, an offspring of the Fitzgeralds, being
    descendants from Maurice Fitzgerald, the ancestor
    of the earls of Desmond and Kildare.
    Richard, Maurice's grandson, acquired lands
    in East Galway in 1242.
    The name Bodkin is said to have originated
    from an incident in the career of Richard's son,
    Thomas Fitzgerald
    The tradition being that in the course of a
    famous single combat he gained a victory by means
    of using a short spear, called a baudekin, whence
    came the expression "buaidh baudekin" from which
    the surname was formed. Be that as it may, there
    is no doubt as to the authenticity of their
    descent from the Fitzgeralds.
    It was in the fourteenth century that the
    Bodkins, then called Boudakyn and later Bodekin,
    established themselves in the city of Galway, and
    from that time until the Cromwellian upheaval and
    the submergence of prominent Catholic families,
    they were one of the more important of the tribes.
    There were several mediaeval bishops of the
    name and a number of officers in King James II's
    army in Ireland.
    Walter and Dominick Bodkin were members of
    the Supreme Council of the Confederation of
    Kilkenny in 1547. One of them, at the siege of
    Galway in 1652, refused to sign the articles of
    Fourty years later, Col. John Bodkin was a
    prominent Jacobite leader.
    Francis Bodkin was a notorious pirate
    captain. In 1673 his crew was captured, but he

    Copied by Amanda Wanegar while at Dublin
    Castle in 1963 from "Irish Names & Surnames"
    by Woulfe.

    The Bodkins appear to have first settled at
    Athenry in County Galway and taken an active part
    in the affairs of that town. Later on, apparently
    towards the end of the fourteenth century, they
    moved to Galway, where they acquired a
    considerable amount of property and became one of
    the "tribes" of that city, of which many of them
    were mayors and sheriffs down to the time when
    Galway surrendered to Sir Charles Coote in 1652.

    Bodkin family in Ireland

    Copied from "History of Galway" by Hardiman.

    Maurice Fitzgerald, progenitor of the earls of Desmond
    and Kildare, was one of the first invaders of Ireland under
    Richard de Clare, second earl of Pembroke and Strigul.
    Richard, better known as Strongbow, died in 1176.
    Maurice had a son Thomas, who had a son,
    Richard, who had a son Thomas, the ancestor of the
    Bodkins. This would put the origin of the name
    Bodkin in the 1200's.

    Botkin Family in America
    First Bodkins to America
    The prime causes for our european forefathers
    settling in America were religious intolerance and
    economic oppression. In Europe, any sect that
    found itself in power proceeded to persecute other
    sects with a bigotry and cruelty which we of this
    century find it very hard to comprehend. Each sect
    wished to be left alone, but would not let others
    alone. However, here in America was a wilderness
    where men who could not agree might still live
    within elbow touch of one another. The other prime
    cause for the peopling of America was economic
    oppression. The long rule of the Roman Empire made
    Europe thoroughly acquainted with despotism. When
    that empire went to pieces, the lawlessness of
    western Europe became intolerable. The masses of
    the people saw no other recourse than to put
    themselves under the protection of military
    chieftains. They had to toil for the support of
    their leader and follow him to war. Thus they
    became known as serfs and lived virtually in
    slavery. In America, there was a seemingly
    boundless amount of wild land. Wild land meant
    free land, free land meant ownership, and
    ownership meant relief from unjust rents. The
    desire for economic freedom lured men to America
    even more than the desire for religious freedom.
    In 1639, all protestants of Ulster, Ireland
    were required to take an oath binding them to an
    explicit obedience to all royal commands. The
    penalties were so severe that multitudes fled to
    Scotland or hid themselves in the woods, leaving
    their homes to go to ruin. In consequence of
    rebellion and famine at the close of the sixteenth
    century, the north of Ireland had become almost
    depopulated. In 1641, the few native inhabitants
    rose in rebellion and the war which followed was
    one of dreadful ferocity.
    During the civil war in England and the rule
    of Cromwell, there was a respite from persecution.
    after enduring oppression almost a century, the
    Scotch-Irish began flocking to America.
    According to the text "Irish Pedigree" by
    O'Hart, in 1653-54, a number of immigrants were
    transported to America in what was called
    "Cromwell's Army". Among these immigrants we find
    fourteen Bodkin names. These were: Alexander,
    Christian, Dominic, James, James Fitz-Edmond,
    Marcus, Mariana, Nicholas, Patrick, Richard,
    Edmond, Oge, Lawrence, and Ambrose. These are the
    first of our forefathers to come to America. The
    next mention of our family immigrating to America
    came in 1679, when Martin and Nick Bodkin arrived
    in August on the ship "Young William" for
    Virginia. Currently, no other immigrations have
    been found prior to 1754, when Charles and George
    Botkin arrived from Ireland as members of the
    Hessian troops to fight in the French and Indian
    Present day family groups insist that the
    Bodkin and Botkin families are not related. This
    assumption is false. All texts indicate that all
    Irish records contain Bodkin entries. In America,
    most records prior to 1800 also spelled our name
    with a "d", however, between 1800 and 1850 there
    were both versions listed for the same persons.
    according to Oren F. Morton in his book "History
    of Highland County Virginia" published in 1911,
    there was formerly no recognized standard spelling
    of English. Each person was a law to himself. The
    same name would be spelled different ways, partly
    because of personal whims and partly because of
    individual peculiarities of pronunciation.
    As an example he states that Bodkin has become
    Botkin apparently through the strong influence of
    the German settlement in America and their mode of
    pronunciation. Thus Botkin became the American
    version of Bodkin, which today substantially
    outnumbers its Irish original.
    George Washington Botkin had always told his
    son (John Browder Botkin) we were of Irish
    descendant. Uncle Johnny told me this in one of
    the many conversations we had, he was a great help
    in getting this history together

    Outline of Descendants of Richard Bodkin Sr.

    Richard Bodkin, Sr. was born approximately
    1710 in Virginia. There is a possibility that he
    was born in Ireland, however, I am under the
    opinion that he was a descendant of this line's
    actual immigrant. Venturing a guess, I would
    say he was a son or grandson of one
    of the men who came to America in either 1653 or
    The first actual mention of him was in 1743,
    when he was patented 339 acres on Clover Creek,
    Augusta County, Virginia. This became the family
    homestead for 19 years, until may 17, 1762 when
    either he or his son, Richard, sold the homestead
    and moved higher up the valley.
    Richard was married to Elizabeth, last name
    unknown. Morton's history of Highland County
    Virginia states that Richard moved to Highland
    County with sons nearly full grown. Most of the
    following information was obtained from three
    sources: Morton's "History of Highland County
    Virginia" and also his "History of Pendleton
    County West Virginia" and Lyman Chalkey's
    "Chronicals of Scotch-Irish settlement 1745-1800".
    Richard was a constable on the Cowpasture River in
    Augusta County, which indicates that he could both
    read and write. His name was found on several
    petitions for roads in Augusta County. He was
    also listed as a private on the August 11, 1756
    muster roll of Captain George Wilson's company of
    the Virginia militia.
    Richard was found listed in the 1756 and 1765
    parrish vestry books of Augusta County. After he
    sold the family homestead in 1762, there were
    three land conveyances to Richard in 1763, 1765
    and 1768, however one can not be for sure whether
    this was Richard, Sr. or Richard, Jr.
    Richard had at least five sons. Their names
    were: Hugh, Charles, John, James, and Richard Jr.

    Early Unites States Ancestors

    Family legend has it that Richard Bodkin
    migrated from his home in County Galway, Ireland
    to England and from there to Jamestown, Virginia.
    supposedly Richard changed the spelling of his
    name to Botkin, which is how the American spelling
    was derived. This theory is very hard to prove
    Most records show they were listed as Bodkin,
    however, Botkin kept cropping up more and more
    often as the years went by.
    One point that must be remembered is that prior
    to 1880, most persons did not know how to read and
    write. Therefore whenever a person got married,
    bought land or was questioned by a census taker,
    he had to accept (probably should say couldn't
    care less) how the other party recorded his name.
    I have found the name spelled both as Bodkin and
    Botkin on census records, birth records, marriage
    records and other records.

    Marriage 1 Elizabeth _____
      1. Has No Children Hugh Bodkin b: ABT 1736 in Va.
      2. Has No Children Charles Bodkin b: ABT 1738 in Va
      3. Has No Children John Bodkin b: ABT 1740 in Va
      4. Has No Children James Bodkin b: ABT 1742 in Va
      5. Has Children Richard (Likely, Not Proven) Bodkin b: ABT 1744 in Va

      1. Abbrev: "Descendants of John Bodkin (1781-1855) and Esthma Haile"
        "Descendants of John Bodkin (1781-1855) and Esthma Haile" compiled by G.N. Botkin, M.J. Botkin, B.A. Botkin Original copy on file.
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