The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950

Origins of the Sodens of Wisner, Nebraska, USA as recounted by Terry Soden, a direct descendant of Joseph Soden , born 1794, of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. This marvellously detailed account of the Wisner History of the Sodens can be read with pride and admiration.

The Sodens of California, USA

Tina Beck lives in California today with her family and has recently visited Cavan in 2022 during the Covid pandemic. This story was told to her by her grandmother.


Tina Beck and her sister, Colleen McGrane, visit Pottlesoden in Summer 2022
[Brother in law Paul; Tina;  Patricia, a cousin and Tinas sister , Colleen]


James Soden from Lavey to Los Angeles

The beginning of the 19th century in Ireland was a tough time to be alive. To be not of the state religion was the arch cross to bear. The Sodens of Pottlesoden, Lavey, Co. Cavan met this opposition with direct threat.

James, son of Matthew Soden of Pottlesoden, paid that price. When it was reported he was teaching the Catechism to his family, he was threatened with arrest. This would mean prison or even transportation to Australia.  So that very night , he and his family, left their farm and emigrated to the USA eventually settling in Rockaway, New Jersey. Their descendants today are Tina Beck of Los Angeles, California and her family.

Matthew was born in 1810 and is recorded with his family in the extant 1821 Census for Pottlesoden, Cavan [Cavan 3/1821, p77].  Matthew’s father was Bartle,  born in 1785. Matthew married Mary Fitzgerald and emigrated in the late 1850s arriving in New Jersey in 1860.


Tina Beck is the great great great granddaughter of Matthew Soden born 1810 in Pottlesoden, Cavan as registered in the 1821 National Census for Cavan County. 

There were five Soden families in the townland of Pottlesoden [see attached photo]. As the 1821 census indicates there were Soden families in no less than 10 townlands. My direct ancestor is James Shoden of the Beaghey, Co. Cavan  and I am confident there can be established a link between these two families and the ones in Sligo and Longford.

Tina’s grandmother told her that Matthew trained racehorses for  the English nobility, which may well have been Lord Farnham or perhaps Rev. John Moore or such alike.

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