My 3rd Gt Grandfather had a distinctive name combo - James Thomas Mutlow HODGES. He was born at Kington, Herefordshire and Baptised on 7 Oct 1791 at St Mary The Virgin, Kington, of parents, Thomas HODGES and Margaret (nee WILLIAMS). Why Kington I wonder - as his parents lived in Shoreditch, London, where Thomas was an 'Excise Man' at The Custom House, Lower Thames Street, City of London.

I can find no other connection between this HODGES line in London, and Herefordshire. What reason would cause Thomas to take his pregnant wife all the way to Kington? The family were back in London at least by 1794 for the birth of their 2nd son George. In 1803, Thomas arranged for his son James Thomas Mutlow HODGES to be admitted into St Paul's School in the churchyard of St Paul's Cathedral.

I suspect that the reason for visiting Kington may be to do with Thomas' occupation of Excise Man - as Kington was an important crossroads for sheep drovers and had a thriving market - but no proof . I am awaiting a reply from Kington Museum to whom I have enquired about a Wool Exchange or Customs Office in Kington in the late 18th century. Any further advice on avenues of research would be greatly appreciated.

(I also have a sneaky feeling that James' 3rd name MUTLOW may be a clue, as I am aware there are a lot of MUTLOWs in Herefordshire, although I have no other occurrence of the MUTLOW name anywhere else in my tree)