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
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.”

Hudson Resources on

Hudson Ancestry

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

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

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).

recruited Henry
(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.

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
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
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
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.

Hudson Miscellany

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

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
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)




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