Nicholas is my 5th great-grandfather, the 6th for my children, and the 7th for my grandchildren.
Nicholas' brothers and his own sons seem to have what I would consider as "English" names for the times: Charles, George, John, William, Edward. However, the family definitely seem to have left from Pembrokeshire in Wales to New England after 1720-1730, settling in Caernarvon, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a number of other Welshmen. Pembrokeshire is the extreme lower eastern part of Wales, as seen on the map here.
The name Hudson is sometimes written as Huttson, by the way. Hudd is apparently a 'pet' name for Hugh, so this is a patronymic surname for 'Hugh's son,' i.e., Hudd-son.
There is a wonderful clear hand-printed map of Caernarvon landowners, drafted in 1834, of the early settlers/land-owners purchases of land in the new township from 1718 onwards. It may be found in the PA Archives, although it's mildly challenging to find - email me and I can send you a PDF of it. [contact info at very bottom of page]. The HUDSON men were in the group of first settlers in Caernarvon, and their names can be found in a number of land plots on this map. Note snippet of the map to the left. Details of Warrent, Survey, Patent dates are quite clear as you can see. One of Nicholas' land patents is at the top, John Bowen's in the middle of this snippet.
In about 1734 [no record found as yet], Nicholas married Jean BOWEN, daughter of John & Elizabeth BOWEN. John BOWEN was one of the first settlers in Caernarvon PA, along with the Hudson family members, and many others who married into our family.
Nicholas and Jean's children were the following, b. in Caernarvon township region:
1. John [ancestor], sometimes referred to as Jonathan, b abt 1735,
d. Sep 1789; m. Jun 20, 1768 to Mary MORGAN; 7 childen
2. George, b. 1738
3. William, b. 1740
4. Elijia/Elijah, b. 1743, d. 1820; m. Jan 2, 1785 to Ann ____, at Little
Conestoga, Chester, PA, 5 children
5. Joyce, b. 1747; m. to Thomas Douglass
6. Margaret, b. 1749; m. to Thomas Loyd
7. Edward, b. est 1751
Clearly I need to do more research on the 5 children about whom I know little. Both girls married a Thomas: Joyce to Thomas Douglass, Margaret to Thomas Loyd. Nicholas mentions his sons-in-law in his will, making Thomas Douglass one of the executors.
Nicholas was a prosperous landowner in the area, buying and selling land. Several land warrants are to be found: 150 acres, 200 acres. After his father died in 1748, he continued to care for his step-mother Margaret, with direct care of her when she required more care for the three years before her death, before March 3rd, 1761. He also held the inheritances for his younger brother, William's three children, William having left Pennsylvania to the French colony in Louisiana. Two of the 3 children of William did return to Pennsylvania, and received their inheritances set aside from their grandfather George Hudson, held for them by Nicholas.
In 1772, he is listed as "Constable" for Carnarvon region, a one-year commitment. The link gives some details on what the duties of a Constable might be.
He is listed in the 1779 Septennial Census in Pensylvania; these censuses were taken for taxation and representation purposes, every 7 years. Unfortunately this Census list was transcribed alphabetically, so no information about neighbours can be gleaned. Oh to see the original!
His Will was written February 2, 1780, and is recorded in full (almost 3 pages), detailing his land (by the descriptions clearly he has walked it many times), large money disbursements to various adult children, grandchildren, nephews, etc. However, there is no mention of his actual death date. It was brought to the county, with Inventory pages, and proved September 28, 1780, so we may assume he died a month or so before that date. Here is a snippet of the transcribed will:
His will does not mention his wife, Jean, so I must assume she predeceased him. No record of her death has been found to date. It is fairly legible, so I will be transcribing it in full in the next month.
I have no further information. My research plan now has more individuals to research, more details to search for or write for, plus the wills to transcribe - his and his father's wills. My early genealogy work had me simply filling in my direct ancestors, and bare bones information on the siblings. Although when there were several children with duplicate names living in the same area, that problem forced me to do better research. So late, I grow wiser.
If you haven't yet found the map of Caernarvon township settlers' land plots, remember you can simply email me for a copy. Or, click on this link, and look under Lancaster County. It should work for you. The drafting on the map is so clear it may be downloaded and expanded to see all details! A true treasure. I love to delve into old maps like this.
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