Saturday, March 11, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ HUDSON of Boston, Massachusetts

William Hudson (1588 – 1661/2), my 11th great grandfather, and his three eldest sons were the some of the first people to settle in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was admitted to the Boston church as member number 67, which was in the winter of 1630 – 1631.  He was made a Freeman that next May 18th.   His wife, Susan, was admitted to the church in Boston as member number 123 later in 1631.   Susan gave birth to a fourth son, Nathaniel, on 30 January 1633/4.

William Hudson was a baker, and owned property in Boston.  He returned to Chatham, in Kent, England around 1645.  On 29 April 1656 he gave power of attorney to his two eldest sons, William, Jr. and Francis, to sell his properties in Boston.  It is assumed that he died in England and never returned to Boston.

William arrived in Boston with three sons, including Francis Hudson (1618 – 1700), my 10th great grandfather.  Francis was a ferryman and an innkeeper.  He ran the ferry between Boston and Chelsea (Winnisimmet), and had a license to sell liquors at his inn. His will was written in 1697 and it mentions his wife, Elizabeth, son-in-law Arthur Smith, a Perkins daughter, and grandsons Francis Hudson, Samuel Hudson, and his wife’s grandchild John Wheatley.  His death was recorded as 3 November 1700, at age 82,  in Boston by Judge Sewell as “one of the first men who set foot on the peninsula of Boston”. 

Francis Hudson owned land near the Winnissimmet ferry which was known as Hudson’s Point.  According to the book Historical Sketch of Copp's Hill Burying Ground, by John Norton, 1919 (unnumbered pages) "At the junction of Charter and Commercial Streets was "Ye Mylen Point", so called in 1635, and later known as Hudson's Point, whence Francis Hudson, the fisherman who became a ferryman, ran his ferry to Charlestown and Chelsea."  This spot is near the MDC skating rink along the harbor today, not far from the North Washington Street bridge to Charlestown.  

An interesting piece of trivia about Francis Hudson is that he was appointed to be “the culler of fish” in Boston in 1663 and 1664.  This was an inspector of fresh fish brought in by fishermen, who examined the catch before it went to market.  He was also voted in as “Measurer of Salt” in 1659.  These were important positions in the days when salt fish (cod) was an important business in New England.

I descend from Francis’s youngest child, Sarah Hudson (b. 1653) who married Arthur Smith in Boston about 1677.  They were my 9th great grandparents.  Arthur Smith was a shipwright.  They are buried at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in the North End of Boston.  His epitaph supposedly reads “Here lyes intered ye Body of ARTHUR SMITH aged about 63 years died May ye 17 1708”, but I have not been able to find this headstone.

For the truly curious:

The Great Migration Begins, by Charles Robert Charles Anderson, Volume II, pages 1035 - 1037

The American Genealogist, Volume 17, page 14

Pioneers of Massachusetts, by Charles Henry Pope, 1900, page 246
Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630 – 1822 (Thwing Collection) at

A Documentary History of Chelsea, by Jenny Chamberlain Watts, and William Richard Cutter,  Volume 2, page 101

Early New England Families, 1641 - 1700. (Original Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2013. (By Alicia Crane Williams, Lead Genealogist.)

My HUDSON genealogy:

Generation 1:   William Hudson, born about 1588 in England; died after 17 Feb 1661/2 in England; married about 1613 to Susan Unknown.  Four sons.

Generation 2:  Francis Hudson, born about 1618 in England, died 3 November 1700 in Boston, Massachusetts; married first to Mary Unknown, born about 1620 in England and died 25 September 1694 in Boston.  Seven children.

Generation 3:  Sarah Hudson, born 27 November 1653 in Boston; married about 1677 to Arthur Smith.  He was born about 1645 and died 17 May 1708 in Boston.  Four children.

Generation 4: Sarah Smith m. Andros Cannon
Generation 5: Sarah Cannon m. Stephen Randall
Generation 6:  Sarah Randall m. Benjamin Gardner
Generation 7: Mary Gardner m. Abijah Hitchings
Generation 8: Abijah Hitchings m. Mary Cloutman
Generation 9: Abijah Hitchings m. Eliza Ann Treadwell
Generation 10:  Abijah Franklin Hitchings m. Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 11: Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 12:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ HUDSON of Boston, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 11, 2017,  ( accessed [access date]).

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