Hodgson is a surname. In Britain, the Hodgson surname was the 173rd most common (766 per million) in 1881 and the 206th most common (650 per million) in 1998. [ [http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk British Surnames and Surname Profiles | British Surnames and Surname Profiles ] ]

Origin and meaning

The surname authority P. H. Reaney (1958, p. 166) states that Hodgson is derived from "son of Hodge" and that Hodge, in turn, is a "pet-form of Roger". This view has been repeated by several others, and Reaney (1967) himself.

But Roger is a Norman French name and by contrast the Hodgsons are most numerous in Cumbria in England, which was settled by the Norse Vikings in the tenth century. [See http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk for geographical distribution maps of the Hodgson surname inn 1881 and 1998.] Hodgson could thus be derived from the Norse name "Oddgeir", as suggested by earlier surname authorities. Alternatively, it could derive from the Norse name "Hrodgeir".

One of the earliest Victorian surname studies is by Mark Lower (1842, p. 96) who suggests that Hodgson may come from "son of Roger" but immediately adds "if not from Odo."

In a more extensive discussion of the surname, Robert Ferguson (1858) entertains a number of possibilities concerning its origin. One is to connect it to the Scandinavian first name Odda. Ferguson notes (1858, p. 225) that this name, although frequently appearing before the Norman Conquest, does not appear to be a word in the Anglo-Saxon language. He writes: "Might it not be from Old Norse oddr, a dart or arrow, whence Oddr and Oddi, common Scandinavian names?"

In two editions of his major work on British surnames, Henry Barber (1894, p. 143; 1903, p. 207) presents more than one possible explanation, and notes in particular that Hodgson may derive from the Old Norse "Oddgeir-son".

Charles Bardsley (1901, p. 390) takes a similar line, offering multiple explanations including "son of Roger" but also giving due prominence to the possibility of Old Norse origins. For him, the derivation of the Hodgson surname could be from "'the son of Odo' from the nickname Oddy, sometimes Hoddy, whence Odson or Hodson. There can be no doubt that Odo is the parent of many of our Hodsons. In Yorkshire it was for two centuries one of the most popular font-names for boys."

Analysis of the early geographical distribution of the Hodgson surname, as well as recent DNA analysis of a number of Hodgsons, support the theory of Norse origins (Hodgson 1993, 2005) [http://www.hodgson-clan.net] .

Hodgson (2005) offers an explanation of the original meanings of "Oddgeir" and "Hrodgeir", as well as biographies of a number of prominent Hodgsons. See also Hodgson (1925).


The Hodson surname is slightly less common and generally derives from Hodgson. Other probable variants of Hodgson include Hodgeson, Hodgshon, Hodshon, Hodgin, Hodgins, Hodgen, Hodgens, Hodghson, Hodgon and Hodgeon. In the North of England the "s" is often silent in the pronunciation of Hodgson. This accounts for variants such as Hodgin, Hodgen, Hodgon and Hodgeon.

People with the surname

* Andy Hodgson, British TV presenter
* Arthur Hodgson (1818–1902), Australian pioneer and politician
* Brian Hodgson, British television composer and sound technician
* Brian Houghton Hodgson (1800-1894), British naturalist
* Caroline Hodgson (1851-1908), Australian brothel proprietor
* Chris Hodgson, Canadian politician
* Claire Merritt Hodgson (1897–1976), second wife of Babe Ruth
* Frances Hodgson Burnett, born Frances Eliza Hodgson (1849-1924), English–American playwright and author
* Geoffrey Hodgson (born 1946), economist
* Isaac Hodgson (architect) (born 1826), Irish-US architect
* James D. Hodgson (born 1915), US politician
* Jane Elizabeth Hodgson (1915-2006), American obstetrician and gynecologist
* Joel Hodgson (born 1960), creator and former host of Mystery Science Theater 3000
* Joseph Hodgson (1788–1869), British physician
* Jules Hodgson, English guitarist
* Julian Hodgson (born 1963), English chess grandmaster
* Laurence C. Hodgson (1874-1937), US newspaper writer and politician
* Leonard Hodgson (1889-1969), Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian
* Marshall Hodgson (1922-1968), American Islamic scholar
* Nick Hodgson (born 1977), English drummer and musician
* Pamela Hodgson, Canadian massage therapist
* Patricia Hodgson, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge
* Pete Hodgson (born 1950), New Zealand politician
* Ralph Hodgson (1871–1962), English poet
* Robert Hodgson (1798-1880), Canadian lawyer, politician, judge and administrator
* Robert MacLeod Hodgson (1874—1956), British diplomat
* Robin Hodgson (born 1942), Baron Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, British politician
* Roger Hodgson (born 1950), English singer/songwriter
* Shadworth Hodgson (1832-1912), English philosopher
* Sharon Hodgson (born 1966), British politician
* Sharyn Hodgson (born 1968), Australian actress who appeared in "Home and Away"
* Stuart Milton Hodgson (born 1924), Canadian commissioner
* Studholme Hodgson (1708-1798), British field marshal
* Sydney Hodgson (died 1591), English Roman Catholic lawyer and martyr
* W. N. Hodgson (1893-1916), First World War poet who published under the pen name Edward Melbourne
* Wil Hodgson (born 1978), English stand-up comedian
* William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918), English writer of horror and fantasy

* Arthur Hodgson (footballer) (born 1926), Australian rules footballer
* Aub Hodgson (1912-1982), Australian rugby union player
* Billy Hodgson (born 1935), Scottish footballer
* Brett Hodgson (born 1978), Australian rugby league player
* Charlie Hodgson (born 1980), rugby union player
* Cody Hodgson (born 1990), Canadian junior ice hockey player
* Dan Hodgson (born 1965), Canadian ice hockey player
* Geoffrey Hodgson (cricketer) (born 1938), English cricketer
* George Hodgson (1893-1983), Canadian swimmer and Olympic gold medalist
* Gordon Hodgson (1904–1951), British footballer, cricketer and baseball player
* Gordon Hodgson (footballer) (1952-1999), English footballer
* Isaac Hodgson (1828–1867), English cricketer
* Martin Hodgson, English rugby league footballer
* Michael Hodgson (born 1979), Australian rugby league player
* Neil Hodgson, English motorcycle racer
* Pat Hodgson (born 1944), US American football player
* Paul Hodgson (born 1982), English rugby union player
* Philip Hodgson (born 1935), English cricketer
* Rick Hodgson (born 1956), Canadian ice hockey player
* Richard Hodgson (born 1979), English footballer
* Robert Hodgson (cricketer) (born 1973), Australian cricketer
* Roy Hodgson (born 1947), English soccer manager
* Rusty Hodgson (born 1981), British motorcycle racer
* Ted Hodgson (born 1945), Canadian ice hockey player

Hodgson can also be a given name:
*Hodgson Pratt (1824–1907), English pacifist


* Barber, Henry (1894) "British Family Names: Their Origin and Meaning", first edition (London: Elliot Stock).
* Barber, Henry (1903) "British Family Names: Their Origin and Meaning", second edition (London: Elliot Stock).
* Bardsley, Charles W. (1901) "A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames" (London: Henry Frowde).
* Ferguson, Robert (1858) "English Surnames and their Place in the Teutonic Family" (London: George Routledge).
* Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (1993) "The Hodgson Surname: Its Norse Origin and Cumbrian Location" (Standon, Hertfordshire: Martlet Books).
* Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2005) "Hodgson Saga" (Standon, Hertfordshire: Martlet Books).
* Hodgson, James (1925) 'The Hodgsons of Bascodyke', "Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society", New Series, 25, pp. 244-49.
* Lower, Mark A. (1860) "A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom" (London: John Russell Smith).
* Reaney, P. H. (1958) "A Dictionary of English Surnames", first edition (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).
* Reaney, P. H. (1967) "The Origin of English Surnames" (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).

ee also

* David Hodgson (disambiguation)
* Richard Hodgson (disambiguation)

External links

* [http://www.hodgson-clan.net Website of the Hodgson Clan]
* [http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/WES/surnames1.htm Cumbrian Surnames]

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