John, a resident of Middle Chinnock, Somerset, England, left a will dated 2 April 1635, probated 5 October 1635. In it he mentions his sons Michael, William and Richard, and a daughter Mary. William and Richard can easily be identified as those who settled in what is now Beverly, MA, based on circumstantial evidence. John, Sr., mentions Richard's son John in his will. Richard was surely the man who married Edith in Stoke sub Hamdon and had a sons Richard and John baptized in nearby East Coker in 1628 and 1631. They were followed by Mary in 1635, and no further baptisms are recorded there for this couple. In Beverly there was a John born about 1631, Mary who was born about 1632 (Mrs. Zachary Herrick), Richard born about 1642, Samuel, Edward and Joseph, b. abt 1651. All the males mentioned are included in Richard of Beverly's will. Although Mary's estimated birth date is off a bit from that of Mary baptized in East Coker, it is close enough to place her in this family (she wasn't of Richard's brother William's family). A Sarah Dodge married Peter Woodbury, and based on his age and the chronology of her children's births, she was born about 1639/1640, at which point there is a gap in the births of the documented children of the Richards of East Coker and Beverly.
There is no evidence of a marriage or baptisms of children for William of Somerset. He is supposed to have been the William Dodge who came over on Lion's Whelp in 1629, since he is mentioned in an English letter as having done so. There is no record of him being in the colonies until 1636. Family tradition had him returning to England, telling his father he wanted to settle in Salem and asking for a present. His father agreed if he married first, and when William complied, gave him two bulls.(1) This can never be substantiated, but he very likely did return, probably not long after he arrived in Salem in 1629, and eventually married. Where he married isn't known. The first known child of William of Beverly was John, born about 1636. Since William starts to appear in Salem records in that year, he very likely came back to Salem soon after his father died.
There is further evidence of a connection between the Somerset and Beverly Dodges. William Dodge mentions a nephew William Dodge in a deed, and infers that the younger William's father was still in England. The only other son of John of Middle Chinnock was Michael, and he had a son William baptized in East Coker in 1644.
The coat of arms presented in the Dodge genealogy has no known connection to the Massachusetts Dodges, yet Joseph T. Dodge presents a prominent facsimile of the arms in his book. The casual observer won't read the extensive but irrelevant part of the book that explains to whom the arms were granted. Dodge himself makes no claims of a connection. They are also displayed at the Dodge Family Association website, which takes it's early information and its associated errors from Joseph Dodge's book.
children of John and Margery Dodge (Doug Sinclair's ancestors):