The story of our family...for my sons

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Matthew Rodham

Matthew Rodham was one of the colorful characters who was a part of the history of Kent Island. Matthew Rodham was one of 73 free men on Kent Island in 1642 and was summoned to attend the General Assembly. The land granted to Matthew Rodham was described as being on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay across from Kent Island. That location would be in present day Ann Arundel County which was formed in 1650.
In 1664 Matthew and his wife, Elizabeth, executed a deed of gift to Richard Kenner (another relative), "inconsideration of a marriage already had between Elizabeth my daughter and sd. Richard Kenner, ye plantation whereon I now live in ye county of Northumberland, 750 acres..."

Matthew was one of twenty-three men whose names appear on a list dated April 3, 1638, "Entred by Capt. George Evelin for the Manor of Evelinton in the Baronie of St. Maries." "Then in 1639 Matthew was released from his covenant with Clobery & Company." "These are to Certify all men whom it may concerne that Mathew Rhoden of the Isle of Kent in the Province of Maryland planter hath served his full time of Service due by Covenant with William Clobery & Company of London Merchants. Wittness my hand this 28th day of October 1639." /s/ Leonard Calvert."

One reference to Matthew, e.g.,comes from one George Turtle giving testimony before the Court of Admiralty about events of the previous year. Within the paragraph he mentions Matthew as articulate. (Matthew would have been about 17 at this time.) Cochran says of use of the word "articulate," that this "indicated that Rodham expressed himself well and was probably an educated man." He goes on to say that "if Matthew Rodham was educated and had funds of his own, those factors would have gone a long way in helping him gain acceptance in the colony even though he was very young." Another reference by Cochran refers to Matthew joining with his neighbors to sign the Oath of Allegiance to the Commonwealth of England: "That document exists to this day and Matthew's signature appears in a neat and precise hand. Many of his neighbors signed with a mark, others wrote their name in a laborous scrawl."

Matthew Rodham was one of the early English settlers in Northumberland County, VA, being first located in Accomack County in 1634 at age 14. In a 1653 deposition, he stated he was about 33 years old. Listed as an inhabitant on Kent Island 1 Apr 1642 (Archives of Maryland 4:69). He was assessed taxes in the amount of 32 lbs. on 2 Aug 1642 (Proceedings & Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland, Jan1637/8-Sep 1664, published as Archives of Maryland 1:143) He is variously listed as Mathew Rodan, Rodam, Rodham, Rhedon and others but signs his name as Matthew Rodham. He was living in Chiacone parish, Northumberland County, VA by 1651 and his daughter, Hannah, was then living. He is described as the son-in-law of Hannah Lee, wife of Hugh Lee, and widow of Robert Huett (another relative). His wife is listed as Elizabeth. He was listed as Mr., served as a justice and in the parish vestry at Chiacone. He owned several hundred acres of land, some of which had previously belonged to his wife' parents. He had at least three servants. He met his wife on Kent Island, her father Robert Huett was there as early as 1640. The Huetts had moved to Northumberland County in 1648 as the county was organized that year. The will of Matthew has not been located although it is mentioned in his wife's will.

A reference in Maryland Marriage Records, 14:183 states that Westmoreland County court book in 1684 has Susannah Rodham, daughter of Mathew Rodham and wife of Robert Mason, Sr. The only court book inexistance for that year is the order book. But kinship is clearly proven between Susanna and Elizabeth Huett Rodham by the latter's will. Matthew was "intimately acquainted with Samuel Lane" who was Reverend of Long Houghton parish, Northumberland, England and later lived on Kent Island, Maryland, dying in Anne Arundel County. Samuel had married Barbara Roddam, daughter of Edmund Roddam, of Roddam in Ilderton parish, Northumberland, England. The Roddam family also owned property in Long Houghton parish. While Matthew is not listed in the pedigree of the Roddam family, the circumstantial evidence indicates that he was a son of Emund Roddam and Margaret Grey. The ties which Matthew had to Samuel Lane, the correct time period, the uncommonnness of the name of Rodham, not to mention the fact that Margaret Grey had a brother-in-law named Matthew Forest, who was sheriff of Northumberland County, England in 1620, all suggest that Matthew may well have been the son of Emund and Margaret.

Edmund died in 1632 without a will. His administration mentions several children. Edmund Roddam entered his pedigree in the Visitation of 1615 but of course, Matthew would not have been born until five years later (ascalculated from his age in 1633). Margaret, the widow of Edmund, was buried in 1647 at Long Houghton. Matthew, a younger son, was likely bound as an indentured servant after his father's decease and brought to America, thereby not being recorded in the subsequent pedigree.


  1. Thank you for this wonderful history ... any idea where exactly they may have landed \ lived on Kent Island? I am only a couple of county's away from Kent Island.

    David J. Kenner

  2. David, sorry nothing in the research...good hunting

  3. hi Mason, My name is Anne Sturm and I have been researching my family line with the help of Ancestry Dna. and Sarah Rodham is my direct ancestor as well as Matthew Rodham. Can you please contact me at