Tuesday, December 24


If you're interested this is part of my Christmas gift to my 95 year old grandfather, JD Hudson. During the 70's he worked on the genealogy of our family and made his way back to 'Ward Hudson'. I thought I would take it the rest of the way for him. I have printed this for Big Gran (that's what we all call my grandfather - he's tall - my grandmother was Little Gran - yes she was short!) in book form and have his pedigree printed out, all 20 plus generations! This is just the history of but a few. Enjoy!


The name Hudson is of Norman origin, dating back to 1066 in Yorkshire, England. The Hudsons came to England - from Normandy - with William the Conqueror in 1066 during the invasion. Normandy is a region in northern France which experienced resettlement by Vikings prior to 1066. In 911, French ruler, Charles the Simple, allowed a group of Vikings from Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) to settle in this area in order to stop their attacks on France. 



As part of the agreement, the Vikings which settled in the area would protect the coast from other Vikings. The Vikings were known as 'Northmen' from which the name Norman-Normandy is derived. The Normans adopted much of the indigenous culture, intermarrying with the local population, converting from paganism to Christianity and developing a language derived from Latin that would later develop into Gallicana then Old French.

In 1002, in an attempt to unify Normandy and England, King Æthelred of England married Emma, the daughter of Richard I, the Duke of Normandy. Viking raids on England were often based in Normandy in the late tenth century, and this marriage was intended to unite against the Viking threat. King Æthelred and Queen Emma's son, Edward the Confessor, was exiled in Normandy for many years after a Viking invasion of England. Drawing on Norman support, Edward was crowned King of England in 1042. 


A conflict arose between King Edward and Godwin, the Earl of Wessex and as a result Edward died in 1066 without a son. Godwin's son, Harold, was crowned King but William of Normandy and Harald III of Norway both contested the throne. Harold was able to defeat Harald III, and remained king for a time. William the Conqueror landed in Sussex on September 28th and the Battle of Hastings followed on October 14th. King Harold was killed at the battle, along with two of his brothers and William became king of England on December 25, 1066


The number of Norman knights under William is estimated to have been between 5,000 and 8,000. These knights received land and titles for their service during the invasion. William essentially claimed possession of all the land in England meaning that from this point on, all land belonged to the King. At first, William confiscated lands belonging to English lords who fought and died with Harold, redistributing them to his Norman supporters. These confiscations led to revolts, which William used as an excuse to siege more land over the following five years. Forts and castles were built to put down further rebellions. As active resistance died down, William and his supporters continued to take land out of the hands of the English and giving it to Normans. By 1086, Norman names predominated as landholders in the Domesday Book.

In the opinion of English genealogists, the early ancestors of the Hudson family came into England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and settled in Yorkshire. 



They were a numerous family, and the names of Richard, John, Henry and William were repeated to the point of confusion. The Hudsons are the descendants of the Lords of Hoddleston (Hudleston) who occupied the castle Millom in Cumberland, on the coast of the Irish sea. After the fall of the Roman Empire, there was fierce rivalry between the Norman's and the Saxons over Yorkshire and the land around the Rhine Valley. The early ancestors of the Hudson family came from Normandy and remained in England after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In early England a man was known by but one name. When surnames first came into use, Hudde was a common nickname for Richard, so it appears that the immediate descendants of Sir Richard Hoddleston (sometimes spelled Hudleston) were known as the sons of Hudde or Hudson. These Hudsons would have been descendants of the Normans that invaded England with William the Conqueror. There is evidence that some Hudson families are Saxon in origin, but given that Rudolph Hudson (1475-1530) was a member of the aristocracy, he was likely to have been of Norman descent.


Millom Castle, located in the Southwest of Cumbria, England on the Irish Sea, is now a grade I listed building and scheduled ancient monument. It is the ruins of a  once stately moated castle which was given a licence to fortify for defense in 1335. The great tower dates from the 16th century. The castle itself was built by Godard de Boyvill, Lord of Millom, but it came into the Hudleston family's ownership when no sons were born and de Boyvill's granddaughter married John Hudleston. In 1251 a market charter was granted by King Henry III of England to John de Huddleston, Lord of Millom. A charter for an Easter fair at Holy Trinity Church was also granted at the same time, giving credence to the fact that Millom was a good size town in the mid-thirteenth century. All Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important; only 2.5% of listed buildings in England are Grade I. Millom Castle is the ancestral home of the Hudsons.


The oldest known Hudson Coat of Arms consists of Three Lions and the Rampart position with three boars heads as supporting badges. The symbolism of the lions shows rearing with strength, courage and loyalty as character traits. Three lions on a coat of arms is rare and its significance is not known. The boars' heads were badges that suggested allegiance to the royal arms of King Richard III. King Richard III utilized boars heads as his identifying badges to signify bravery and perseverance. Possibly, the three lions rampant is significant in identifying with King Richard III also. Richard III died in 1485, when Rudolph would have been about 10 years old. Although he would have been too young to serve under Richard but perhaps his father did. Since Richard was a member of the House of York, it would be consistent with the information about the Hudson family originating in Yorkshire that Rudolph's family would have supported Richard.

Rudolph was born in 1475 in Tamworth, Staffordshire, England. Rudolph was a whaler by trade and traded with Russia during his youth.  

At some point, Rudolph moved to London as he was an alderman (council member) of London. Rudolph also carried the title of Gentleman. The significance of the title Gentleman comes from the aristocracy of ancient England. Gentleman was a title given to a man of certain nobility signifying social position in England. Rudolph married a women by the name of Elizabeth who bore him many sons and daughters. He died June 27th, 1530 in London, England and he was placed in a tomb in the Church of the Grey Friar in London. The Great Fire of London destroyed the Grey Friar Monastery in 1666. 



Henry, the son of Rudolph and Elizabeth, was born in Tamworth, England in the year 1500 - the exact date is not known. Like his father before him he served as an alderman of London. Henry's official title was Gentleman, Alderman of London, Lord of Manors. Henry had gathered considerable wealth in trade and was lord over many manors, some which were given to him by King Henry VIII for service to the crown. Gentleman Henry Hudson was obviously of the aristocracy, demonstrated by his collection of titles and the ownership of a coat of arms that identified his family. After the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII, the crown granted forfeited church lands at Hitchin, County Hertfordshire to Edward Watson and Henry Hudson - Hudson receiving over a dozen ancient manors. (Simply put, when King Henry the 8th broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and declared the Church of England, he divided the land once owned by the Roman Catholic Church and gave it to the English aristocracy.) Henry also purchased the manors of Bertrams, Newington Belhouse, of Skelting, Ackhanger, Terlingham, Folkston and Walton. He was named as Lord of the Manor of Sweeten in Devon, the heart of Dartmoor - which is now a 5 star resort, coming in at number 2 in all of United Kingdom. 


Henry was extremely wealthy and had close relations with the crown and the nobility. Henry was a director of the Russian Fur Co. and later he became associated with the Dutch East India Company and was named in Queen Mary's (Mary was Queen between her father, King Henry the 8th and her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I) Charter on February 6, 1555, as one of the founders of the Muscovy Company.  Henry died December 22, 1555 and was buried at St. Dunstans in the East, London, England. Henry married Barbara in 1525 in St. Editha, Tamworth, England. The inscription on Henry's tomb in St. Dunstan's indicates that he had eight sons and three daughters with a wife named Barbara.  
Here lyeth Henry Hudson's corps,
Within this Tombe of Stone:
His soul, through faith in Christ's death,
To God in Heaven is gone.
Whiles that he lived an Alderman
And skinner was his state:
To Verture bare hee all his love,
To Vice bare he his hate.
He had to wife one Barbara
Which made this tombe you see
By whom he had of issue store,
Eight sonnes and daughters three.
Obit 22, Decemb. An. Dom., 1555
Henry I's tombstone and the cemetery where he is buried was sadly bombed and destroyed during WWII. The City of London chose not to reconstruct the church or surrounding area. Instead they turned it into a lovely city garden among the ruins of this medieval church. We visited St. Dunstans while we traveled through Europe in the Summer of 2013 - these are pictures we took. 


Henry II, the son of Henry I and Lady Barbara Watson, was born in Tamworth, England in the year 1542. The exact date is not known but his baptism is recorded on December 30, 1542 in Tamworth, Staffordshire, England. He was a wealthy Londoner, a member of the Skinners and Tanners (one of 12 privileged men from which Lord Mayor could be chosen), served as alderman in the City of London, and owned property in Stourton, Lincolnshire. 

After his father died he took over the charter of the Muscovy Company. Henry II traded with Russia, owned several whaling ships and was a contemporary to Sebastian Cabot and Richard Chancellor, who eventually sailed in search of a Northeast Passage to China. He married late in life at the age of 68, on June 11, 1609 to Barbara Alderman. Henry II died in 1635 at the age of 94. He and Barbara had many sons and daughters. William, who we are descended from, and Henry III - the Explorer who the Hudson Bay and River are named after, are but two of his sons.


William Hudson, son of Henry II and Barbara Alderman, was born on September 30, 1571, in St Andrew Undershaft, England. Not much is known about his life, it is overshadowed by the history of his brother Henry Hudson III the Explorer. William married Alice Turner April 3, 1605 and fathered 4 sons, Richard I being but one. He died on April 9, 1630, in England, at the age of 58.


Richard Hudson I, son of William Hudson and Alice Turner, was born in 1605 in Tamworth Castle, Tamworth, Staffordshire, England and not christened in the Church of England until November 5, 1608. 


He departed England on August 10, 1635 aboard the ship Safety bound for the Virginia Plantation. Richard I came to Virginia in 1635 as an indentured servant to Obedience Robbins. Court records indicate a dispute over a payment to Obedience which indicates a servitude. Upon arrival in Virginia he settled in Accomac. He was the first Hudson to immigrate to the Americas. Richard's first wife is unknown, but he married a second time in 1638 to Mary Hayes, a widow about 30 years old. Along with his new wife Richard I acquired two or more stepchildren and debts three times greater than the value of her estate. He owned land in Hungars Creek, one of the oldest settlements on the eastern shore. 

As captain of his own ship, Richard I Hudson was a coastal trader and mariner. Early Virginia documents mentioned Richard as "a mariner in 1642, Captain of his own ship and his Mate Thomas Streete". 

He traded up and down the Eastern seaboard. His holdings of land, crops, a mill and warehouse, and livestock indicate his activities were local as well. His livestock mark was a "fleur de leis," a device associated with the Hudson coat of arms of Henry the Alderman. The fleur de leis was also the livestock mark of both Richard's sons, Henry and Nicholas, of Somerset County, Maryland. Richard I Hudson disliked Marylanders. Rivalry between Virginia and Maryland for the Chesapeake trade may have contributed, because other traders during this time were also having difficulties with the Marylanders. Religious differences too may have contributed to his dislike of Marylanders, who were mostly Catholics. His sons, Henry and Nicholas, were closely associated with, if not themselves, Quakers. Nicholas' wife, Elizabeth Freeman, was a Quaker and Somerset County, Maryland, where they lived, was a Quaker refuge. Puritan and Catholic differences were on the rise at that time.  Richard I continued to live at Hungars Creek, and after Mary died, Richard married a third time to Barbara Jacob. 

He left a Nuncupative (spoken to witnesses) Will in 1658. Richard I died September 12, 1658 in Northampton, Virginia.

A few court records found on Richard I:
  • Richard sued a Mrs. Savage for payment of some services that were rendered. The court ordered her to pay Richard 600 lbs. of tobacco and five barrels of corn. (Eighty lbs. of tobacco were worth about one pound Sterling and a day's wages was about sixteen lbs. of tobacco.) 
  • Goodwiffe Robbins' wife was brought into court for slandering Richard's wife Mary. Goodwife Robins' wife Alice received twenty lashes for this offense. It appears that Alice Robbins was a disagreeable person evidenced by the fact that she was quite often in court. For her slanderous offense she was "...lashed to the end of a canoe and towed over the creek".
  • Richard I again appears in court over a disputed hog. It appears Richard claims it was stolen and could identify it by its markings in the ear (the same fleur de lis utilized by Gentlemen Henry Hudson). The defendants claim that the markings in the ear were destroyed when the sow was attacked by dogs. Richard claimed that the thieves cut it out. The records are not entirely clear as to how it ended.
  • Court records show the transfer of a minor orphan from the household of Richard and Mary to his sister in law Ruth Hayes.

Richard Hudson II, son of Richard I and Mary Tillman Hayes, was born in Accomack County, Virginia, about 1634, and died October 25, 1669 in Roxdale, Henrico County, Virginia. He was the first Hudson to be born in America. He married Mary Bowman in 1658. Richard was alienated from his father who was away at sea for various lengths of time, and after his mother died, Richard was apparently indentured into the care and control of James Bruce. After his servitude ended he embarked upon his own personal fortune. 

In 1652, he joined a group of people traveling westward into Henrico County and mainland Virginia. There he settled among the Bowman families on land lying in a bend on the south side of the James River. Existing Henrico County records indicate Richard Hudson II received, from his father-in-law Bowman, father of  his wife Mary Bowman, a gift of land known as "Roxdale." The above mentioned records are also referred to in the Will of Richard Hudson II, made October 25, 1669, whereby the land known as "Roxdale" was divided between his three minor sons. Court records show a guardianship administered to Thomas Pauldon for his minor sons, indicating Richarch II and his wife, Mary, died leaving very young children, not much else is known about their death. The will no longer exists, due to buildings burning during the Cival War. Part of its contents, however, can be reconstructed from a deed made 1 Dec 1688. On that date, Richard, the son and heir of Richard Hudson, deceased, late of Roxdale in Henrico Co, stated that by his father's will of 25 Oct 1669 he and his two brothers, Robert and William Hudson, were devised a plantation at Roxdale then in the possession of Thomas Poland. It was the land which his father Richard Hudson, Sr had been given by his father in law Bowman. The land has escheated to the crown and had been granted to the three brothers. For 1600 pounds of tobacco Richard Hudson sold his share to his brother Robert Hudson. The witnesses to the deed were Thomas Cocke and William Cocke, Jr. Mary Hudson, wife of Richard Hudson, relinquished her dower. Three sons of Richard II and Mary Hudson; Richard Hudson III 1660, Henrico Co, VA, Robert Hudson 1662, Henrico Co., VA, William Hudson Aug 1668, Henrico Co., VA.


Richard Hudson III, son of Richard II and Mary Bowman, was born in 1660 in Henrico County, Virginia and died October 21, 1746 in Amelia, Virginia. He married Mary Hall in 1688. After the death of his father, Richard II, he and his brothers were fostered by a guardian, Thomas Pauldon. In a Henrico County deed dated December 1, 1688 Richard III mentions that his father, Richard II, had a will dated October 25, 1669, in which he gave the land, "Roxdale", he received from his father-in-law Bowman,  equally to his three sons. He also stated that the Roxdale plantation was occupied by Thomas Poland, their guardian and subsequent to his father's will the land was swindled from Richard II's three sons. Pauldon, since he was the guardian, likely took, or controlled, the land that rightfully belonged to the sons of Richard II. But it seems conditions may have been suitable to get it back, because Richard sold his share of said plantation at Roxdale to his brother, Robert Hudson, for 1600 pounds of tobacco. Richard III then left Henrico County for the frontier, which later became Amelia County. He settled at Hatcher's Run around 1706. Children of Richard III and Mary Hudson; Richard Hudson IV 1690, James Hudson 1706, Hall Hudson 1708.


Richard Hudson IV, son of Richard III and Mary Hall, was born in 1690 in Henrico, Virginia. He married Martha Ward in 1709 in Henrico, Virginia. They had 11 children during their marriage, Ward Hudson, a son, was born in 1740 in Amelia, Virginia. Richard IV died on May 8, 1773, in Amelia, Virginia, having lived a long life of 83 years.