Select Hudson Surname Genealogy

Hudde was an English medieval personal name and Hudson, son of Hudde, the patronym.  Hudde is seen as a pet-form for either Hugh or Richard. 

The older Anglo-Saxon words huda and hud may also have contributed a root in some places.  Huda underlies place names such as Huddington in Worcestershire.  Hud translates as mill and Hudson may then have meant "son of miller." 

Select Hudson Resources on The Internet

Select Hudson Ancestry

England.  Early records of the name appear in Yorkshire; John Hudesone in Wakefield in 1323 and Johannes Hudson in the Yorkshire tax records of 1379.  

Yorkshire  The name can be seen in Yorkshire parish records from the early 1600's, in York and in villages near Doncaster and Bridlington:
  • John Hudson acquired the manor at Nunkeeling in 1707 and his family was later to be found at Bessingby Hall near Bridlington. 
  • another John Hudson, the son of a farmer in Beetham, made his mark in the early 1800's as a mathematician and tutor to George Peacock. 
  • and there has been a family line of Hudsons in Wakefield since the early 1800's.  They were butchers and publicans primarily and one Hudson, Albert Hudson, became mayor of the town in the early 1900's.      
Leicestershire  We find Hudsons in Melton Mowbray and Lutterworth in Leicestershire from Elizabethan times.

Thomas Hudson's son, Robert, set off for London where he made his money in haberdashery.  In later life, he returned to Melton Mowbray and founded a hospital and almshouse there in 1640.  His son Sir Henry, who lived in The Limes on Sherrard Street, was an avid Roundhead supporter during the Civil War. 

Hudsons were as well millers and bakers in the village of Lutterworth.  They too made good.  Charles Grave Hudson rose to be high sheriff of Leicestershire in 1780 and, through family connections, inherited Wanlip Hall near Leicester.  From this family came two brothers who emigrated in the 1850's, one to America and the other to Australia.  The elder, John Hudson, had many adventures in the American West and left behind a fascinating collection of sketches, journals, and letters.     

London  In the Church of the Grey Friar in London there is a tomb to Rudolph Hudson, a "citizen and alderman of London" who died in 1530.  There follows Gentleman Henry Hudson, a well-to-do London alderman and merchant, and his sons Henry and Thomas who were active with Elizabethan merchants and explorers in setting up the Muscovy Company (with the mission of finding a northern passage to Asia). 

They recruited Henry Hudson (possibly related) to find this passage.  For a man who failed in his mission in four attempts between 1607 and 1610, he achieved everlasting renown on his third voyage by disobeying his Dutch paymasters and heading for the New World.  He discovered whaling grounds and Hudson Bay in northern Canada and the Hudson river (which he navigated to Albany) in New York state.       

Ireland.  The Hudson name also crops up in Ireland, brought probably from England during the time of Cromwell.  Edward Hudson from county Cork made his name in Dublin in the late 18th century as an eminent dentist, at a time when dentistry was still very much a fledgling practice.  His son William was a composer, collector of ancient Irish music, and an Irish patriot. 

America.  William Hudson from Kent came with his family in Winthrop's fleet in 1630.  His family was to be found in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan.  David Hudson was a pioneer Connecticut settler in Ohio.  The town of Hudson was named after him and the house that he built there in 1806 still stands.   Hudsonville in Michigan was named after Homer Hudson who had moved there from Ohio in the 1850's to grow fruit trees.

Daniel Hudson was an early arrival in Watertown, Massachusetts.  A descendant. Frederic Hudson, was the distinguished 19th century journalist and editor for many years of The New York Herald.  Thomas Hudson settled in Lynn along the Saugus river in 1637.  An iron forge was established on this property and its first casting, an iron pot, was handed down as a family heirloom.  John E. Hudson from this family became President of AT&T in 1887. 

Virginia  Other Hudsons came to Virginia.  The Virginia passenger lists shows several Hudson arrivals in the 1630's, including probably some London Muscovy Hudsons. 

A Richard Hudson arrived in 1635 as an indentured servant.  A later Richard Hudson settled along the southern branch of the James river.  He and his wife Mary had three sons who moved onto Chesterfield, Amelia, and Hanover Counties in Virginia.  Descendants can be traced to North and South Carolina.  Elizabeth Hudson from the Hanover line was the mother of the statesman Henry Clay.  A subsequent Virginia Hudson family included the splendidly named Cicero Demosthenes Hudson who moved with his family to Alabama.

Hudsons in the South  Just how the Hudson name came to be associated with the Choctaw tribe in Mississippi is unclear.  The earliest reference is to a "widow" Hudson who was born in 1768 and died in 1831 during the Choctaw resettlement.  She was the mother of George Hudson who became the principal chief of the Choctaw Nation in 1860, but lost his position when he refused to come out in favor of the Confederacy.

Frederick Hudson had come from Virginia in the 1830's and started a plantation at Shuqualak in Noxabee county, near the land which the Choctaws had vacated.  Clement Hudson's plantation was in Carroll county. And Franklin Hudson ran the Blythewood plantation in Iberia county, Louisiana.  Many of these Hudsons later moved onto Texas.

In recent years, several African American Hudsons have risen to prominence in Mississippi.  Winsom and Dovie Hudson were fearless sisters who fought the early battles of civil rights.  Heather McTeer Hudson became the first woman black mayor of Greenville, Mississippi in 2006.   

Canada.  Hudson was among the first names of Canada because Henry Hudson, the explorer, had left his name to Hudson Bay.  Hudson's Bay Company was formed to profit from the fur trade.  Its vast network of trading posts formed the nucleus for later political authority in many parts of western Canada and the United States.  Today the company is best known for its department stores throughout Canada.

Australia.  In 1788 the First Fleet left London with the first consignment of convicts to the new settlement of Australia.  Among the 1,500 onboard was John Hudson, a nine year old chimney sweep who had stolen some clothes and a pistol.  The judge commented: 

"One would wish to snatch such a boy from destruction for he will only return to the same kind of life which he had led before." 

So little John Hudson, an orphan, was sent to Australia for seven years.   He ended up on Norfolk Island.  The last official record of him was that he was punished "fifty lashes for being outside his hut after nine o'clock."

A later arrival was William Hudson from a small farming village in the Lake District.  He came on the Star of India in 1862 and headed for the gold fields.  He and his wife Mary Jane settled in a farm they named Sunny Brow where they brought up seventeen children.

New Zealand.  Hudsons from Oxfordshire and Worcestershire came to New Zealand in the 1870's under an emigration program sponsored for farm laborers. 

George Hudson came wth his family from London in 1881. He had an abiding interest in natural history and devoted his life to writing and illustrating books on New Zealand's moths, butterflies, and beetles.  A proper English gentleman, he did all his fieldwork in a three-piece suit, complete with a watch chain.   

Select Hudson Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Hudson Names

Henry Hudson
, the explorer, sought the NW passage to Asia but discovered instead Hudson Bay in Canada and the Hudson river in New York state.
Robert Spear Hudson from Staffordshire was the Victorian entrepreneur who popularized dry soap powder and built up a family soap business.
W.H Hudson, born in Argentina from an English immigrant family, became one of the most popular and widely read naturalists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 
Rock Hudson, the Hollywood actor, was born Roy Harold Scherer.

Select Hudsons Today
  • 66,000 in the UK (most numerous in Surrey)
  • 49,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 27,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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