My name is Kermit Kidwell. My wife is Janet Marie (Rodda) Kidwell. Janet is the daughter of Harry Edwin Rodda and Pauline Howard (Spiller) Rodda. I have recently started researching our family histories. I still know very little about the process.
With regard to Janet's Rodda line, here is what we have documented:
On March 1, 1888, a British steam ship, the Sardinian, left Liverpool, England and sailed to Londonderry, Ireland. In Londonderry, the ship took on the following passengers:
Richard Rodda, age 25, husband of Kate Rodda and father of young Thomas Rodda and George Rodda.
Kate Rodda, age 20, wife of Richard Rodda and mother of Thomas Rodda and George Rodda.
Thomas Rodda, age 2, son of Richard Rodda and Kate Rodda.
George Rodda, age 6 months, son of Richard Rodda and Kate Rodda.
Thomas Rodda, age 75. Thomas may be Richard's father, grandfather, uncle, whatever. We don't know.
The entire family was logged in as "Rhodda". We believe that this was a phonetic error on the part of the ship's crew. The country which the entire family is listed as "severally belong" is Ireland, except for the elder Thomas who is listed as England.
The ship left Londonderry on March 2, 1888 and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 11, 1888. The ship sailed from Halifax and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland on March 17, 1888.
According to the June 7, 1900 U.S. Census, Richard (DOB: OCT 1863) and Kate (DOB: MAY 1868) were living in the District of Columbia with son Thomas (DOB: AUG 1885), daughters Grace (DOB: SEPT 1890), Lizzie (DOB: JAN 1893), Katie (DOB: 1898), and son Sidney (DOB: May 1900). We do not know what happened to son George, after he sailed from Londonderry in 1888. We assume he died. Neither do we know what happened to the elder Thomas.
We know that, between 1900 and 1910, father Richard and son Thomas owned and operated a business (the Rodda Bicycle Company) in the District of Columbia wherein they manufactured and repaired bicycles.
According to the January 4, 1920 U.S. Census, Thomas, now 33, had married Bessie L. (Payne) Rodda, age 29 from Virginia. Thomas and Bessie were living in the District of Columbia with their five sons, Richard (age 11), Harry (age 8), Thomas (age 6), Ralph (age 4), and Albert (age 1).
According to the April 17 U.S. Census, 1930, Thomas and Bessie now lived in Alexandria, Virginia with their five sons, Richard, Harry, Thomas, Ralph, and Albert, and son Richard's new bride, Melva.
What we believe to be true, according to undocumented "family lore" is:
Richard Rodda, who sailed from Londonderry in 1888, was born in Ireland, but his father and mother were from England. Richard's wife Kate was born in Ireland, as were her father and mother. Before Richard and Kate left Ireland in 1888, for a time, they lived in Wicklow, Ireland.
So, here we are now searching for more information about our Roddas. Janet and I would love to hear from anyone who can provide us with more information.