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Richard John Dodge

b. 1602 East Coker, Somerset England
m. May 05, 1628 East Coker, Somerset England
d. June 15, 1671 Beverly, Massachusetts (English Colony)


Edith (Woodbury/Brayne) Dodge


1. Richard Dodge (b. 1628 England)
2. Margery Dodge (b. 1630 England; d. 1631 England)
3. Lieutenant John Dodge (b. December 29, 1631 East Coker, England; m. April 10, 1659 Salem, Massachusetts; d. October 11, 1711 North Beverly/Wenham, Massachusetts)
4. Mary Dodge (b. 1632 England)
5. Marie Dodge (b. April 19, 1635 England)
6. Richard (2) Dodge (b. 1643 Massachusetts)
7. Sarah Dodge (b. 1644 Massachusetts)
8. Samuel Dodge (b. 1645 Massachusetts)
9. Edward Dodge (b. Massachusetts)
10. Joseph Dodge (b. 1651 Massachusetts)


Richard John got married to Edith on May 05, 1628 in East Coker England. Some believe he married Edith Woodbury, but other sources say he married Edith Brayne. Edith Woodbury was born in 1603 in East Coker, whereas Edith Brayne was born on May 17, 1608 in Hamden, Somerset. It is most likely he married Edith Woodbury, since more sources reference her and Richard John was from East Coker.

It appears that their children, Richard, Margery, and Marie died young so some sources claim John as the first child, however church records in Easy Coker claim otherwise. Also, Mary and Marie are possibly the same person; church records claim her name was Marie and she was baptized in April, 1935, which was probably just before they immigrated to America.

In 1635 Richard John's father died and he received one sheep from his father's will. Richard John and Edith immigrated to America in 1638 without royal permission. They arrived in Salem, Massachusetts to join Richard John's brothers, William and Michael; William having arrived nearly ten years earlier, on June 29, 1629.

Richard was of fair complexion, hair and eyes, much like a typical Saxon, while his brother William was darker and looked much more like an "ancient Briton." William's daughter-in-law was Sarah Proctor, whose brother, John Proctor gained fame in the Salem Witch Trials and through Arthur Miller's play The Crucible. In 1623 William Dodge became grantee of the original Dodge Coat of Arms.

After moving to America, Richard John lived on William's land for awhile, but then moved to "Dodge Row" in North Beverly, not far from Wenham Lake. In 1637 or 1638 Richard John was given ten acres of land in Salem and on September 26, 1638 the two brothers received 40 acres of land comprising the area between Salem and "Dodge Row" in North Beverly. Richard further pushed his land boundaries into modern day Beverly and into the "Wenham Neck." Richard's house was near or on the town line between Wenham and Beverly. Richard continued to expand his land and by his death he held 500 acres of land.

Throughout his life, Richard John paid more attention to farming and personal affairs, than public business like town politics or the church, although in 1667, Richard was one of the founding members of the Church of Beverly and he made multiple contributions to public affairs.

According to the Wenham Church records, Richard and his wife were loyal members before 1648, and they were also large contributors to the church where Reverend John Fiske was the pastor. Also, according to records, Richard had a high appreciation for education and in 1653 on a list of Wenham contributors to Harvard College, his name ranks first; the next largest donation was only one quarter as large as his. In addition to this he dedicated a piece of land to a cemetery now known as the Cemetery on Dodge Row.

Richard Dodge's will was dated September 14, 1670 and he died on June 15, 1671 in Essex, Massachusetts; he left an estate valued at the sum of 1,754 pounds and 2 shillings. One source claims that all of his land was given to his brother Michael, but Michael had to pay Richard John's widow, Edith, and son, John four pounds a year. A second source claims he gave 100 acres of land to each of his five sons.






-Joseph T Dodge, PhD, Genealogy of the Dodge Family of Essex County, Massachusetts 1629-1894, (Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Company, 1894), 9, 13, & 16-17.
-Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume III, 1675-1681, (Salem, Massachusetts: The Essex Institute, 1920), 13.
-Americana (American Historical Magazine), Volume XXIII, (New York, NY: The American Historical Society, 1929), 247.
-Henry F Waters, AM, Genealogical Gleanings in England, Volume I, (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historical Genealogical Society, 1901), 448-449.
-College of Arms, (London, England).
-Robert Dodge, Report, Full, Authentic, and Complete of all the Addresses and Proceedings of the Memorable First Reunion of the Dodge Family in America, (New York, NY: E.S. Dodge Printing Co., 1879), 7, 33.
-Adeline P Cole, comp., Notes on Wenham History: 1643-1943, (Salem, Massachusetts: Wenham Historical Association, 1943), 16, 42-43, 51.
-Wenham Town Records, Volume I: 1642-1683, (Wenham, Massachusetts: Wenham Historical Society, 1927), 8.
-Miller, Arthur, The Crucible, (New York, New York: Penguin Books USA Inc, 1964).
-Dodge family records (view document)