The Historical Overview of Hoge’s in Pennsylvania

“There is a pride of ancestry that awakens responsibility, that stimulates endeavor,  that purifies motive, and shapes the life to noble ends.”  James Hoge Tyler, former Govenor of Virginia 1898-1902.



The Hoge’s valiant and bold ancestry spans 10 generations and over 325 years of history in America.


As legend tells the story, the oldest reference to the name Hoge is in 1425, when Patrick Hoge and Gilbert Hoge, both ‘Squiris’, are named among the gentlemen who “devydit the marches betwixt Ridbeth and Bemersyde.”  Sir Andrew Haig, the Lairde of Bemersyde, preceding the Lairde in whose time this division was made, has been the first to drop the spelling de Haga for the spelling Haig which is still in use today.  Etymologiclly, the names are the same, and the finding of them in the same neighborhood suggests the probability that Hoge is only another variant of Haga or Hage, and that the Hoge’s as well as the Haigs are descended  from Petrus de Haga who came from Normandy about 1150.  This Peter of the Dyke probably from Cape de la Hauge in Normandy, founded an honorable family, early associated with the cause of liberty and patriotism.”  Moses Drury Hoge 1899


Near the close of the seventeenth century, in 1682, a young man named William Hoge, who was the son of George Hoge, a son of Sir John Hoge of Musselburg, Scotland, evidently in good circumstances, sailed to America in a ship called Caledonia, to escape religious persecution under the Stuarts.


In the same ship, there was a family named Hume from Paisley, Scotland, with a daughter named Barbara. James Hume was one of two brothers of wealth and standing but who differed on the great questions of the day.  Sir James Hume father was a Knight and a Baron, allied to the House of Stuart tracing back to Robert Bruce. One of the brothers conformed, but James was true to the Kirk and the Covenant.  He was imprisoned and most of his property confiscated.  Through the influence of his brother, he was released on condition of his emigration to America. 


On the arduous voyage of the overcrowded ship, a pestilence broke out in which Mr. and Mrs. Hume were the victims.  Barbara was left alone.  William Hoge became her protector and safely delivered her to her uncle in New York, a physician, Dr. Johnson.  William moved to Perth Amboy, New Jersey to make his home.  But it was not a final farewell.  An attachment sprung up between them and the romantic marriage of William Hoge and Barabara Hume begins the historical journey of the Hoge’s in America.


The westward migration of settlers in America  were combined with certain forces that were in motion at the time.  The history of land for sale in the unbroken wilderness was paramount for people to migrate westward.  Many Traders received large grants of land from the Crown on the condition that they would bring a specified number of inhabitants to settle the country.  The eastern seaboard of the continent had been peopled by groups of persons fleeing persecution and seeking opportunity and freedom, and land, land, land. 


William Hoge joined others at Germantown with a number of other Scottish and Welsh families.  Sons of these settlers cast their eyes Westward for new land and homes, and the Hoge’s were ready to lead the way.  Traders were informed of the favorable opportunities over the mountains.  Settlement was delayed by Braddock’s defeat in 1755, and the French and Indian War that followed.  Colonials in Braddocks forces who got a chance to view the country advertised the bounty of the land.  When peace was restored, a veritable stampede began.  Land was sold, sight unseen to anyone who wanted it.  Virginia’s price was one shilling per 10 acres.  Pennsylvania limited the number of acres to 400.  Many people were anxious for Virginia claims until the border controversy was settled in 1784 over the Mason-Dixon Line.


William Hoge “of County of Monmouth in the Eastern Division of New Jersey a Taylor”, purchased 1000 acres of land November 11, 1710 on a branch of the Elk River in Nottingham Twp. Chester County, Pennsylvania.  William and Barbara eventually moved to Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania where William founded the town of Hogetown and erected a church in 1734.  William and Barbara had five sons; John the eldest, William II, Alexander, James, and George.  John married a Welsh heiress, Gwentholyn Bowen Davis.  John’s fourth son, David, through a treaty with the Delaware Indian Chief, Tangooqua, known as Catfish, purchased most of the land, about 1060 acres, what is now known as Washington County. The Indian Chief, Catfish, had a camp on a branch of the Chartiers Creek in what is now a part of the city of Washington.  (Walkinshaw, Lewis Clark (ca 1939) Annals of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Vol. 1, NY. Lewis Historical Publishing Co. Inc. p. 16.)  The French labeled the area “Wissameking” meaning “catfish place” as early as 1757.  The first colonists settled there in 1768 and were mainly immigrants from Scotland and the north of Ireland. 


On March 28, 1781, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed an act naming Catfish Camp as the place for holding the first election.  Courts would be held at the cabin of David Hoge, Esq.  The first court was held on October 2, 1781.  Washington County was the first county to be named in Honor of President George Washington.  David Hoge, Esq. Proprietor,  immediately after the legislatures action, laid out a plan of lots.  The original plot carried the name Bassett, then Dandridge Town, but before the plot was recorded lines were drawn through Bassett in ink and the word Washington was written above.  The plot names “lots 171-172 for a place of worship, a school house, and a court house (given gratis) and a jail.  On October 18, 1781 lots 43 and 102 were presented to his Excellency General George Washington and Mrs. Washington. (History of Washington County, Crumrine, pages 479-478)  It is said that David Hoge never resided in Washington as his permanent residence, although he had a cabin there.


David Reddick, a nephew of David Hoge,  laid out the town of Catfish under the direction of David Hoge.  David Reddick represented the county at the Constitutional Convention in 1790, was Vice-President of Pennsylvania in 1788 in which Benjamin Franklin was President.


David Reddick, Esq., married the daughter of Jonathan Hoge, who was David Hoge’s brother.  Jonathan Hoge of Cumberland Valley, was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1776 and 1790, and a member of the Supreme Executive Council of 1786.  


John Hoge, the oldest son of David Hoge, Sr., was born in Hogestown in 1760.  John entered the Revolutionary War in the army in 1776 at the age of 16 and became a lieutenant.   In 1785, David Hoge conveyed the greater portion of the large tract of land to his sons, John and William.  In 1789, John was elected delegate to the State Constituitional Convention and from 1790-1794 represented this district in the State Senate.  William was a member of Congress during the Jefferson administration.  He died in 1814 and is buried in the “Meadowlands” of Canonsburg.  John died in 1824 and is buried in the Washington Cemetery. (photo attached)


George Hoge was born in 1733.  He was a first cousin to David Hoge. (George Hoge is the direct lineage for Garrett S. Hoge.)  He resided on the land near Fort Bell on a branch of Ruff Creek.  In 1773, George was disowned by the Hopewell Monthly Meeting for bearing arms against the Crown.  George served in the Revolutionary War that followed Captain Benjamin Stiles from Morgan Township.  He was a member of the Pennsylvania Militia Company.


James Hoge, John I and William II’s  brother was the father of the Reverend Moses Hoge of Richmond Virginia and Reverend James Hoge of Columbus Ohio. James joined Braddocks Army and was killed at Ft. Duquesne.  His Great Grandson, James Hoge Tyler,  became Governor of Virginia  between 1898-1902.


Alexander Hoge, another brother of John and William, became a lawyer of eminence, lived near Winchester, Virginia and was a member of the first Congress of the United States and of the Virginia Convention that adopted the Constitution of the United States.


Quoting from a letter dated August 31, 1880 received by F. L. Hoge from D. Kaine of Uniontown, Pennsylvania;


‘There is no grander or nobler lineage in this or any country than this one and my researches warrant me in saying that I know of none to equal it.  In our earlier history, our ancestors were princes and gentlemen, noble not only in blood, but noble of soul; and generation after generation, through centuries of time, have come and passed away, each leaving the same unwavering record of high lofty character, undeviating Christian principles, humble faith and devotion and social supremacy, which neigher change of time or circumstance nor condition could deteriorate.  It is a curious fact that the underlying characteristics of the family appear to have always been the same.”


Garrett is the ninth generation from the original Hoge’s in America.  We all share the same Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather William Hoge I.  William and John who helped lay out the plans for Washington County had no heirs.