The Rodds of Prince Edward Island - 1944


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The following transcription courtesy of Doug Rodd - darodd@nbnet.nb.ca


The following article appeared in the Charlottetown Guardian at the end of April to the first of May 1944 as a 7 part series written by an author called simply E. S. D. [Jan 12, 2001] - Note: E. S. D. has been identified by Waldron Leard as a pen name of George Artemus Leard.


THE RODDS

of

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

By E. S. D.


Reprinted with permission of Roseanne MacDonald, The Guardian, Apr. 21, 1988.

I

The history of a country is very often the history of its leading families. If one would know the political history of England let him study the lives of successive generations of Cecils Cavendishes Churchills and Spencers. In Prince Edward Island, families have had a monopoly on either brains or high office the same trend the humbler walks of life is quite apparent Many families trace their pedigrees through long lines of sea captains, lay preachers, shrewd merchandizers, highline fishermen or thrifty farmers; for like begets like and It is good that it is so. Attribute it to either heredity or social environment. the home of an enthusiastic militia-man like that of sea-captain often produces a second. and third generation of like-minded men.

The Rodd's of Prince Edward Island are descended from a soldier and their history for five generations at least a partial history of the militia on Prince Edward Island, for each successive generation has been intimately connected with the militia of their time. To one of the fifth generation, Lieutenant Parker Rodd who was reported missing on the Italian front in February, this historical sketch is dedicated. His father T. Ambrose Rodd Esq., of Milton, who was a former Lieutenant in the old 82nd is a veteran of the Boer War, his grandfather John Thomas Rodd was a Lieutenant in the old Cavalry Corps; his great grandfather Thomas Rodd was Lieut. Colonel of the 4th Queens County Regiment of Militia, and his great-great-grandfather John Rodd was Captain and Adjutant for thirty years In the first Queens County Regiment of Militia.

The story of the Rodds of Prince Edward Island is the story mainly of farmer folk with a flair for soldiering. A tradition among many of his descendants is that the first John Rodd on Prince Edward Island was a retired Captain in the British regulars, a tradition for witch there is very little supporting evidence. The date of John Rodd's arrival on the Island is also In dispute. However, careful searching and sifting of data has determined that around the year 1807, John Rodd of London with his wife Elizabeth Shaw and two children, Thomas, aged three and Charles, aged one Immigrated to Prince Edward Island where they established a home in Charlott Town, the primitive capital, where the stumps were still in the principal streets and the side streets were paths through the woods.

The first Rodd Deed in the Charlottetown registry office is dated 1810 when on Sept 11 of that year Edmund Fanning LLD.' and general in the army and Maria his wife of the one part, sold to "John Rodd, husbandman" of said Island on the other part for the sum of fourteen pounds Halifax currency all that piece of land in the "Royalty of Charlottetown. Prince Edward Island, Gulf of St. Lawrence, North America", being part of pasture lot number forty-four on the St. Peter's Road containing eight acres. This land would be just a little to the west of St. Peter's Anglican cemetery and the price paid, Halifax currency being five shillings to the Spanish milled dollar, would be $56.OO. This land specifically called a pasture lot may or may not have been used for building on. It was till 1816 that John Rodd received the grant of a building lot in Charlotte Town. His Grant from the Lieutenant Governor with some of the legal verbiage lopped off' reads something like this:

"To all whom these presents shall come, greetings, know-ye that I, Charles Douglas Smith, Lieutenant-Governor and commander In chief in and over his Majesty's Island of Prince Edward by virtue of power and authority to me given by his-present Majesty King George III under the great seal of Great Britain and Ireland have given granted and confirmed onto John Rodd his heirs and assigns all that piece of land in lot Number thirty-three in the fifth hundreds as laid down in a certain map of Charlotte Town having a length of one hundred and sixty feet and a breadth of eighty four hundred on the south by lot No 487, On the West by the Malpec Road, and on the East by lot 499. The grantee John Rodd yielding and paying to his Majesty King George III, his heirs and successors, or any person lawfully authorized to receive the same a yearly quit rent of one penny for each and every foot that front of said lot shall contain, and also I yearly quit rent of' three pence for each and every acre; the rent to be payable each year on the Feast of St. Michael which shall first happen after the expiration of two years from date of this instrument. The grantee further obliges himself that within a space of three years from date he will build a good and substantial dwelling house of at least sixteen feet In breadth. and twelve feet in depth on this lot and within six years will fence and properly clear for pasture three acres, the grant other wise to be forfeited."

The good and substantial dwelling house 12 x 16 would seem rather small to John Rodd's present descendants, most of whom have living rooms of greater dimensions. The exact site of this building lot has not been ascertained In terms of present day Charlottetown geography but it was on the east side of what is now Elm Avenue, probably not far from where across the street a great-grandson, William E. Rodd lives today.

II

The first John Rodd on Prince Edward Island was doubtless mustered out for military drill shortly after his arrival here in 1807, for it was on the Statute books according to an Act Passed In 1780 for the establishing and regulating of a Militia that "for the honor of his Most Sacred Majesty and the security of the Island against hostile attack, as well as for the preservation of their own lives and fortunes,", all male Inhabitants between sixteen and sixty "should be well armed and properly trained in the art military." Much of the early Island militia was purely paper organization with very little training, no uniforms and very few arms, However, war always brought such dormant organizations to life and the war of 1812-1814 saw the re-organization of old units and the commissioning of new ones.

In April 1813 the Prince Edward Volunteers were formed, or probably just furnished with new officers, with Lieut. Col. the Hon. George Wright Commanding and Major Francis Longworth as second in command, with other officers drawn from Charlotte Town, Covehead, Brackley Point, Rustico and Belfast. Of this unit which had three captains, ten lieutenants and five second lieutenants. John Rodd was adjutant without any other distinguishing rank. In the roll of officers his is the only name which has no date of commission opposite it.

The fact of being adjutant in 1813 is the strangest proof obtainable for the tradition that John Rodd was a retired soldier, for the adjutant was, and still is the vital center, of any troop or regiment, and while the Lieutenant Colonel commanding might be any gentleman with a capital G and enough pull, the adjutant was generally and necessarily an old soldier who knew his military stage and could prompt both seniors and juniors in their different roles. So it may be assumed that John Rodd was a former soldier but not necessarily a "former captain of the British regulars." His first mention In a Prince Edward Island record comes in St. Paul's Anglican baptisms where the birth and baptism of his son John on the 30th May 1809 is recorded. This record calls him a farmer, and in the first deed as may have been noted he was referred to as a husbandman". If he had been a former Captain it is altogether likely that he would have retained this title by courtesy in such public records and would have been in the militia muster rolls as Captain. Just as a guess, John Rodd who was forty years old when he came to the Island served twenty years in the army either as a non-commissioned officer or a subaltern, and having either received his discharge or sold his commission he came to the new World to carve out his fortune as a farmer.

Neither the earlier or later history of the Prince Edward Volunteers is known. Formed, or at least reorganized, during the govenorship of Colonel Desbarres. There is a slight possibility that they were the successors to the first militia ever raised on the Island. The Loyal Island of St. John Volunteers, a company of eighty men raised by Phillips Callbeck to protect the Island during the war of the American revolution Desbarres claimed that under his govenorship Prince Edward Island had its first general muster of militia when in 1826 it was found that the Island could parade 1406 officers and men and 105 stands of arms; hardly more than a musket for each fifteen soldiers. Her was certainly the most militia mined of the early governors and from the time the ninety-two year old governor left the Island in 1813 until the 1820's it is difficult to glean much regarding the Island's militia establishment, which probably after the Peace of Ghent in 1814 reverted to a paper status.

One of the most prized possessions among the Rodds of today is the sword that John Rodd carried at all militia musters and parades. Not an expensive sword, it has the Royal arms on the blade with the inscription "George the III" beneath. a heavy white sword belt which fits over the right shoulder bearing a brass plate with the Royal monogram "GR" on it is also much cherished by the present owner; Mr. T. A. Rodd of Milton. Apparently a sword was not the usual dress equipment of the early militia officers for a "loyal militia man" writing in the Register newspaper of July 29, 1828 complained about no uniforms and thought each officer should set an example and provide himself with a regimental sword and sash or other wise resign. The cost of an officers sword was estimated at thirty shillings and a buff belt twelve shillings.

A search of the militia general orders as published in the P.E.I. Register for the years 1823 to 1830 does not reveal a Rodd name until April of 1823 when there seems to have been a shake-up and reorganization of the militia. Ten battalions of infantry are listed for the Island with one unit of artillery and a headquarters staff.

Among the promotions and appointments in the 6th battalion Captain Rodd was appoint adjutant. This battalion was apparently centered in Charlottetown and inspection took place generally in July on Queen's Square. The King's birthday was generally observed by an assembly of all the nearby militia which also paraded on the square.

On April 8th 18xx Captain Ambrose Lane on half pay of the 98th regiment, was appointed sub-inspector and adjutant general of Prince Edward Island militia with the unattached rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The new adjutant general, replacing Colonel John ?. Holland who had served in that office for over quarter of a century, made immediate and far sweeping changes in the militia set-up. A militia order of November 20, 1833 as published in the Royal Gazette gave name and rank of every commissioned officer to that date. There were three troops or Cavalry, one for each county: one detachment of artillery with headquarters at Charlottetown, and twelve regiments of infantry, five in Queen's, four In Prince and three in King's County. The first Queen's county Regiment of militia had headquarters at Charlottetown and the district covered comprised Charlottetown and Royalty, and townships number 29, 30, 31, 32 and 65. The major commanding was Francis Longworth, the same who had been second in command of the Prince Edward Volunteers twenty years previously. Major Longworth had with him two other officers from the old volunteers, Thomas Desbrisay, surgeon, and Captain John Rodd adjutant.

III

John Rodd died nine years later, probably still adjutant in the militia. He is buried in the Malpeque Road cemetery with a headstone bearing the following inscription:

"John Rodd

"Died April 5, 1842

"Aged 75

"The eyes of him that hath seen me

"Shall see me no more

"Thine eyes are upon me am and I am not."

* * *

Of many quaint wills filed away in Prince Edward Island's Probate court few have more unusual items than those contained in the last will and testament of John Rodd who died in 1842. His will commenced in the pious style of one hundred years ago:

"In the name of God, Amen. I John Rodd of Charlotte Town in Prince Edward Island being of sound mind, memory and understanding do make, publish and disclose this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills. In the first place recommending my soul to Almighty God who give it nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by His Almighty power. I direct that after my death my body may receive a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors and that immediately thereafter my executors do pay and discharge all my just debts and funeral expenses out of my personal estate."

Further on John Rodd remembers his children with personal keepsakes:

"I give and bequeath unto my beloved son, Thomas, my gun, and silver corkscrew in token of my affection, also my militia cap. To my loved son Charles my small prayer book and silver buckles. To my beloved son John, my best prayer book and my militia coat, sash, sword and eqaulets. To my beloved son Edmund my Bible, to my beloved daughter Marianne the round tea table and dressing table. To my beloved son Theophilus my best coat and vest and a suit of clothes. All the remainder of my wearing apparel to be divided equally amongst my children.."

The rest of his property both real and personal John Rodd left in trust to his executors, John Ogle Nantes, of Charlottetown, gentleman, and Martin Dougherty of Charlottetown, cabinet-maker, to hold in trust and eventually turn in to cash and, after paying his widow fifty pounds, to divide the remainder among the children taking into account monies they had already received. Apart from the unusual silver pieces of corkscrew and buckles (and the buckles may have been off his wedding shoes) John Rodd's interest would seemed to have centered in things militia and things religious. His complete militia equipment and uniform had probably cost him upwards of nine pounds (a large sum for those days) and it was perhaps not unexpected that he divided it between his two son's who were also in the militia.

Though John Rodd died April 5th. 1842 his will was not proved till October of the next year. The executors' statement of accounts as filed in probate court 4th September. 1844 disclosed an estate worth 545 pounds or $2,180, a not inconsiderable sum for a farmer to leave when beef sold on the Charlottetown market for five cents a pound, homespun cloth could be had for sixty cents a yard, fowl were dear at twenty-five cents apiece, and two cents would buy half a pound of cheese. Captain John Rodd owned other keep sakes of interest to his children who now purchased them from the estate. The youngest son Theophilus paid $1 for his fathers fishing rod and $13 for a table. He also bought a mattress for eighty cents, a sheet-iron stove for $2.90: and paid $7.75 for the wood in the yard. The oldest son Thomas paid $8 for his father's watch, an item which was surely overlooked by the Captain when making his will. The doctor's bill as paid by the executors was $15.20 to "Doctor Pool"' a name which cannot be found in the medical histories of P.E.I. Several items totaling over $80 showing monies received for tobacco might almost suggest that John Rodd in his later days was a tobacco merchant in a small way. Part of the John Rodd estate consisted of a mortgage on the house of Ensign Hudson of $548.00 which was paid, in full. Postage on two letters sent this gentleman regarding same amounted to $1.02. Ensign Hudson also bought a house from the estate, paying $720. A property purchased by E.J. Jarvis the Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, for 151 pounds was evidently part of the property in the Royalty that ex-Governor Fanning had sold John Rodd in 1810.

IV

The first Rodd family on Prince Edward Island consisted of Captain John Rodd (1767-1842) of Charlottetown and his wife Elizabeth Shaw. Their children, the two eldest of whom were born in London, were as follows:

1st. Thomas Rodd, born in 1804, and died May 12, 1883, resided at the Brackley Point Road, and was married first on the 26th. December 1826 to Hannah Howel (1803-1828) and secondly in March of 1829 to Margaret L. Bell (1801-1879).

2nd. Charles Rodd who was born in 1806 died July 4 1885. He resided at Little York and was married on 24th December, 1827 to Maria Barret.

3rd. John Rodd born 30th. May 1809 in Charlottetown, place or date of death unknown.

4th. Edmund Rodd born 20th. January 1813 died October 12, 1898. He was married first to Elizabeth Young on the 2lst. November 1833, and secondly to Mary Martin.

5th. Marianne Rodd born in Charlottetown, married 29th. September 1834 to Nicholas Morshead of North River.

6th. Theophilus Desbrisay Rodd who was born 29th. May 1819 died December 7, 1851. He resided in Charlottetown and was married 6th, May 1841 to Lucy Pepperell (1804-1880).

There is a certain tradition in the family that John Rodd was employed in the "government service" of this Island, with no supporting proof save that grants of government land seem to have been freely given both to himself and to his sons. On the 6th. October 1829 the two eldest sons, Thomas Rodd and Charles Rodd received respectively from Lieut. Gov. Ready grants of pasture lots Number 367 and 382 containing twelve acres each; and two years later John Rodd Jr. Received a grant of Lot No. 351 in the Royalty.

* * *

Thomas, the eldest son of the first Rodd family, early moved from the Royalty out to the cross road between, Brackley and Winsloe leasing a farm of seventy-five acres from John Hodges Winsloe, Esq. the early landlord in township No. 33. The lease was signed the 27th. June 1831 with a rental of three pence (5c) per acre. This farm is still in possession of the Rodds, being farmed today by Guy Rodd. Thomas Rodd was married twice. His first wife dying in childbed, was survived only a few days by their eldest son Thomas William Howell Rodd who died 18th February 1828 aged ten days. Thomas Rodd took for a second wife Margaret L. Bell, Scotch girl who had emigrated with her parents from Annan in 1821. The children of Thomas Rodd and his wife Margaret Bell were:

1. Sarah Rodd, born 13th Feb. 1832 married John MacGougan (1817-1906) and died 29th March 1906 without issue.

2. John Thomas Rodd was born April 2, 1834 and died September 9, 1914. He was a resident of Milton and was married first in 1858 to Ann McLaughlin by whom he had one daughter, Annie, Mrs. George B. McNutt, now deceased. John Thomas Rodd married a second time to Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart of Brackley Point, and their children included: Margaret, Mrs. Joseph Coles; Lilla, Mrs. Lemuel Coles; and Edith, Mrs. Herbert Coles, all once of Milton but now deceased and surviving members Sarah, Mrs. Henry Coles; and T. Ambrose Rodd of Milton and John Ambrose Rodd of Edmonton, Alberta.

3. James Rodd who was born September 9, 1838 at Brackley Point Road, died in Nanaimo, B.C. on the 26th January, 1877. He was married to Charlotte Kennedy and was the father of four children: James Wattell Rodd, Sarah Jane Kennedy Rodd, Minnie Rodd, and John Thomas Rodd. Jr.

4. Adam Rodd, born 1845 died. in 1853.

5. Wallace Lemuel Rodd who was born Jan. 4, 1842, and who died at High River, Alberta, February 14, 1906, made his home on the Brackley Point Road and was married to Janet Margaret Thompson, a daughter of Isaac Thompson and Margaret Roddick who came to Charlottetown from Scotland in 1841 or 1842. Three daughters of the Wallace Rodd family, Annie Elizabeth, of Vancouver, B.C., (and now deceased) Mrs. Dr. T. K. McAlpine of Vancouver, B.C (and now deceased) and Janet (Mrs. Dr. Melville Krolik) of Montreal, served as nursing sisters in the First Great War. Two other daughters, Margaret, Mrs. Francis Brazil of High River, Alberta; and Georgina, Mrs. W. B. Stratton of Seattle are both deceased.

Wallace Rodds sons also added distinction to the family name. The elder, James A. Rodd, of Ottawa is director of fish culture for Canada, and the younger, Robert Thompson Rodd, of Victoria, B.C. who upheld the Rodd military tradition by serving In France during the last Great War, was a former director of fisheries for Alberta.

V

Thomas Rodd (1804-1863) who received by his father's will the old gentleman's gun, silver corkscrew and militia cap, probably found all three of some use in the militia of his day. The first official reference to his militia career appears in a Militia General order of May 1, 1834 when Captain Thomas Rodd of the 4th Queens County Regiment was appointed adjutant. In the re-organization of the militia the previous fall he was apparently given a captaincy though the name is mistakenly given John Rodd Jr.. This is clear from the later order in which Captain Thomas Rodd was appointed adjutant and "John Rodd junr. gentleman" was created an ensign. All men receiving a first commission were invariably listed as gentlemen rather than farmers, traders, or smiths, to Conform to the old country theory that only the gentry merited, or indeed, ever received the King's commission.

The Fourth Queens County regiment had headquarters at Brackley Point and its territory comprised townships No. 23, 24, 33, 34 and the portion of townships 35, 36 and 37 north of the Hillsborough River. Included among the Officers at its organization were men bearing such proud names as Macdonald of Tracadie (two captains) and Lawsons of Stanhope (three officers). The major commanding the unit was Richard Rollings who paraded the 4th Queen's Co. Regiment in two sections for inspection that summer the western companies being inspected on the 18th July at Rustico and the Eastern ones on the 19th at Brackley Point.

* * *

Like his father, Thomas Rodd was probably the ideal adjutant and the greater part of his militia career was spent in that rank. In 1854 he was still adjutant with Lieut. Colonel Wm. McGowan commanding the Regiment. It has not been ascertained when Thomas Rodd succeeded to the command of the Regiment but it is known that in 1874, forty years after its formation, he was the O.C. of the 4th Queens, with the rank of Lieut. Col. And with two of his near kinsfolk, John McGowan and Edward J. Rodd as captains. Doubtless all three of Colonel Rodd's sons served in the militia of their day. John T. Rodd (1834-1914) served under Captain Holman in the Cavalry Corps, a unit organized sometime in the 1860's and gained his lieutenancy, later resigning commission to join the artillery, in which he served as a gunner, and distinguished himself as marksman in small-arms competitions. Wallace, another son of Colonel Rodd's served as a private in the old Calvary Corps.

Maintaining the militia tradition in the fourth generation Thomas Ambrose Rodd of Milton, a grandson of Colonel Thomas Rodd, joined the old 82nd Regiment as a young man and was company sergeant major in the militia detachment which in 1897 represented Prince Edward Island at the Queens Jubilee. On his return he secured a Commission which he promptly resigned two years later in order to go to South Africa with the first contingent. When the Prince Edward Island Light Horse was formed T. A. Rodd was the first sergeant major, later taking a lieutenancy in this unit.

* * *

The fifth generation of Rodds on Prince Edward Island has doubtless given many of its members to the present conflict in the different branches of the armed forces. This article does not pretend to either list or number them, leaving it to a pen more knowledgeable of the present generation. However, a word is not amiss about the one to whom this article is dedicated, Lieut. George Parker Rodd, typical representative of the militia-minded Rodds of Prince Edward Island. Son of T. A. Rodd Esq. the Boer War veteran of Milton, Parker Rodd joined the militia in his early twenties, and when war broke out was qualified for the position of sergeant which he took in the Highlanders in September 1939. Later receiving his commission he went overseas in September 1942, was torpedoed and rescued en route to the Mediterranean and after acting as liaison officer for a time with the R.A.F. was transferred to Italy. A letter from his colonel as reported in The Guardian of some weeks ago reveals the brave daring of this young man now reported missing, well in keeping with military traditions of previous generations. Parker Rodd's military heritage came to him from both sides of the family. His maternal grandfather, George Crockett, was for many years connected with the Queen's County Regiment of militia, eventually succeeding to the command as Lieutenant Colonel.

Lieut. Colonel Thomas Rodd in his last will and testament left the farm his son Wallace Lemuel Rodd, his spinning wheel and reel to his granddaughter "Maggie Bell Rodd" (later Mrs. Brazil, recently deceased) and his black birch dining table to his son John Thomas Rodd with the enjoinder that it was to be at all times kept in the family. John Thomas Rodd was also bequeathed the Rodd plot in Sherwood cemetery.

VI

Charles, the second son of Captain John Rodd and his wife Elizabeth Shaw, was born in London in 1806, and died at Milton on the 4th July 1885. He was married in December of l827 to Maria Barrett of Charlottetown and they made their home at Little York, where Charles Rodd was blacksmith and operated a small farm on the side. Here they raised a family of nine children: Elizabeth Rodd married James Ferguson of Marshfield, Theophilus Rodd married and lived in the U. S. A., John Rodd (1832-1872) lived near Charlottetown and was married to Mary Jane Rayner; one of his grandsons was a member of the spectacular Abegweit hockey team or twenty years ago. Charlotte Rodd married John Ferguson and lived at Marshfield. Charles Rodd Jr., (1839-1905) resided at Little York and was married to Rebecca Bevin and later to Georgina Weldon. Artemas Rodd married Charlotte Carr and later removed from the Island. Mary Ann Rodd was wife to Alfred Cannon of St. Eeanors. Margaret Rodd married Joshua Wescott with residence near Charlottetown. Maria Rodd married William Crockett of Pleasant Grove.

Charles Rodd Sr. made his will six years previous to his death in 1885. In it, he provided for a small bequest to his son Artemas R. Rodd, with all of the remainder of the property to be held in trust for the support education and maintenance of his grandson Charles Henry James Rodd, son of Charles Rodd the younger. This grandson is still living and at present resides in Belmont, Mass. Numerous other grandchildren and great grandchildren reside on the Island mainly in and around Charlottetown.

* * *

John Rodd the third son of Captain John Rodd and his wife Elizabeth Shaw had no known descendants on the Island today. His personal history is surrounded by a certain fog of speculation and uncertainty. It is not even certain whom or when he married though an entry in the provincial marriage records "John Rodd, bachelor, married to Emily Lane, spinster, on the 16th April, 1840, by Rev. L. G. Jenkins" may refer to him. His militia career as noted previously, has only one entry, his appointment as ensign in the 4th Queen's County Regiment in 1834. John Rodd was appointed fence viewer for New Glasgow Road at the Hilary term Supreme Court in 1838, and in 1839 he was constable at Brackley Point Road, an appointment which was repeated again by the January, 1842, session of supreme court. From an old letter of the 29th September l846, we have the last authentic word regarding John Rodd Jr. He was then Captain John Rodd (whether sea captain or army captain is not clear) and had written regarding a bequest to him in his father late John Rodd's will. His address at that time was 25 St. Antoine St., Montreal, Lower Canada.

A certain John Rodd who lived for many years in Wisconsin, U. S. A., said that he was born in Prince Edward Island 1st April, 1833, that his father also was a native of the Island and that his paternal grandfather came from Devoshire at an early age and was employed in the government service in P.E.I. for a number of years. This John Rodd of Wisconsin was presumably a son of Captain John Rodd Jr. one time of Montreal, though he could not have been born of the John Rodd and Emily Lane union unless possibly there has been some mistake the transcription of dates. Some of the older members of the present day Rodd families remember a visit years ago from an American relative. John Rodd who was known as "Millionaire John" because he was apparently a man of money. It is persumed the visitor was a descendant of John Rodd Jr. who was born at Charlottetown in 1809.

* * *

Edmund, the fourth son in the family of Captain John Rodd and his wife Elizabeth Shaw was born the 20th January 1813 and Baptised the 16th February following. He was married at twenty years of age to Elizabeth Young and settled on a farm on the road between the Winsloe and Brackley Point Roads where his grandson Hammond Rodd lives today. Another grandson, Guy Rodd, brother to Hammond, and son of John Rodd and his wife Ellen Pierce has the adjoining farm which formerly belonged to Edmund Rodd's older brother Colonel Thomas Rodd. Edmund Rodd and his wife Betsy Young had ten children:

Eleanor Rodd who married John MacLaughlin of Stanhope, P.E.I.

Margaret Rodd, wife of George McGregor of North Dakota, U.S.A.

May Rodd wife of John Hooper of P.E.I.

Sarah Rodd who married Charles Buxton of Winsloe P.E.I.

Elizabeth Rodd wife of Nathan MacMillan of Covehead P.E.I.

George Rodd of North Milton who married Rebecca Beers of Cherry Valley.

Edward Rodd married Emily Buxton and lived at Moncton, N.B.

John Rodd of Winsloe married Ellen Pierce.

Lemuel Rodd and Henry Rodd both died young.

All of this family are now dead but a number of' children and grandchildren survive to keep green the Rodd name and memories. Edmund Rodd married a second time to Mary Martin, and they had one child Katherine, Mrs. Alexander MacLeod, now of Dunstaffnage, P.E.I.. She is the only surviving grand-daughter of Captain John Rodd who was born in 1767 and came to the Island in 1807.

VII

Of Marianne Rodd, the only daughter in the first family little is Known save that she was married, September 29, 1834 to Nicholas Morshead Jr. of North River. Whether they had any descendants has not been ascertained. Nicholas Morshead was a members of the first family of that name which came to the Island in 1819. His father who carried the same name, Nicholas Morshead, had other children including, John, George, Joseph, Providence Edward, Daniel, Sophia, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary And Maryann the older ones of whom were born in England. They settled at the North River Cross Roads and the original farm descended to Daniel Morshead who changed his name to Moreside as did also some of his brothers. Some of the older members of the Rodd families remember faintly of hearing of a "Aunt Mary Moreside", so Nicholas Morshead Jr. evidently changed his name too, but apart from this nothing further has come down to the present generation.

The youngest member of the first Rodd family, Theophilus Desbrisay Rodd, was called after the Rev. Theophilus Desbrisay, early and saintly rector of St. Paul's in Charlottetown. Born the 39 May, 1819, and baptized by Mr. Desbrisay on 27 July, 1819, he married at the age of twenty-two to Lucy Pepperell, a woman some fifteen years his senior. The marriage settlement drawn up between this couple is on record in the Charlottetown registry office. In it Lucy Pepperell daughter, and heir of William Pepperell, one time sexton of St. Paul's, made over to M. Doughtery, cabinet maker, and to George Coles, brewer, all her property to be held in trust by them for her use and benefit. Among the items listed were Lot No. 34 in the 4th Hundreds of Charlottetown, with dwelling house thereon, part of adjoining Lot No. 33 and pew in St. Paul's Church. The marriage settlement continued "And whereas marriage is intended to be shortly had and solemnized between Theophilus Desbrisay Rodd and said Lucy Pepperell, if same shall take effect Theophilus Desbrisay Rodd, shall not intermeddle with or have any right or interest in law in said land and premises as above mention: the profits and etc., to continue to Lucy Pepperell and to be paid to her by the trustees. In case Lucy Pepperell shall die with out having any issue of her body lawfully begotten, Theophilus Desbrisay Rodd shall and may immediately after her decease possess and enjoy for himself all the property aforementioned."

The marriage settlement evidently meant to give the older partner a certain independence, seemed hardly necessary as Theophilus Rodd died in 1851 at 32 years of age. His widow never married but lived on till 1880, and in her will left the rector of St. Paul's $324 for the use and benefit of the poor. $800 to her niece Mrs. Wm. Middleton of the Malpeque Road and the remainder of her estate including her house on Kent Street to her niece Lucy Callaghan who had lived with her in her old age.

* * *

The Rodds of Prince Edward Island have no need to stand in the reflected glow of honours won by other branches of the family, yet it is interesting to note that the older branches of the family in England have been prominent for many centuries. Burke in an old edition of the Landed Gentry writes that the family of Rodd is spoken as "memorable in the reign of King John." Sir Rennell Rodd, now Lord Rennell of Rodd, writing some years ago to a Rodd descendant on this continent said that the name Rodd was derived from a grant of land (a manor) in Herefordshire on the Welsh border, made in consideration of the owners performing certain military services to the British Crown when required, This was known as the Rood, and probably corrupted into Rodd, and probably so styled with reference to its area. Lord Rennell, whose seat is Trebartha Hall in Cornwall, is descended from a branch of the Herefordshire family. Another branch of family settled in County Devon and while it cannot be proved yet it is the belief of some that John Rodd who came to Prince Edward Island in 1807 was originally either of Cornwall or Devon.

The Rodd coat of arms in black and silver as though meant for modern reproduction in chromium plate and black tile displays two black-leaf clovers on bright silver shield which has a black band across the top. The crest which surmounts the shield is rather different from the ordinary heraldic figures generally used. It is the naked figure of a man representing the colossus of Rhodes bearing over his shoulder a bow, the right hand holding an arrow, the left hand raised above the head holding a ball of fire with rays surrounding the head. The Rodd motto "Recte omnia duce Deo" may be translated "God being my leader all is right." Lieut. George Parker Rodd has this shield, crest and motto on his stationery, a source of rightful pride for one who, with notable ancestors, helped furnish the line with notable descendants.

In the Rodd plot of the old Protestant cemetery on the Malpeque Road, Charlottetown, there is a stone to Charles A. Rodd who died in 1870 at the age of 29 years. No one seems to know who he was but it is singular that he was the same age as Lieut. Parker Rodd, lately missing on the Italian front, and the verse suggests a soldier which makes it appropriate for a younger generation of Rodds:

'Calm on the bosom of thy God

Fair spirit rest thee now.

Even while, with wars thy footsteps trod

His seal was on thy brow;

Dust to its narrow house beneath,

Soul to its place on high,

They that have seen thy look in death

No more may fear to die.

No suggestion is intended that George Parker Rodd is anything but missing and this article is written in the strong faith that it will yet be read by him and many others who in the line of duty and at the call of King and Country have added gloriously to the history of our Island families.

CORRECTION

In the IV installment of the Rodds of Prince Edward Island as published in Saturday's Guardian, Annie Elizabeth, daughter of Wallace Rodd and his wife Janet was incorrectly listed as deceased. Miss Rodd, a registered nurse lives in Vancouver, B.C. She, with her sisters Mary Florence and Janet, shared the unique distinction or being the only Island born sister-trio to serve as nursing sisters in the First Great War.

This article is the property of The Guardian Newspaper - reprinted with permission.


Dave Hunter and The Island Register

Last Updated: 4/19/98 4:33:09 AM
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