Sunday, March 22, 2009


Recently I have been working on my Hudson line, my oldest Georgia line. I have no doubt I descend from Hall Hudson, Sr., who came to Georgia in 1766 and applied for land in 1767 and lived in what became Burke and Jefferson Counties until at least 1825 when he registered for the future Land Lottery (not held til 1827) as an indigent Revolutionary War veteran. He was at least 80 then and died before the 1830 Census was taken, by which time his wife had moved with a younger son, Andrew Hudson, to Laurens Co., Georgia, where she died in 1836.

But the bigger question is Hall Hudson's son, Richard Hudson, Sr., (c. 1775-1837) who died in Jefferson Co., Georgia, leaving a will. He named 16 children in his will, and one more was born after his death, making a total of 17 with at least two wives. Not a single child that survived--and its hard to imagine with 17 that you could have had too many others--not a single child was named for his supposed father, Hall. But then Richard's brothers Hampton, Isaac, and James also had no surviving sons named for Hall.

Why was this? Did they not like their father? Or perhaps did not want to name a son Hall, because of their other brother, Hall, Jr., who may or may not have been a bad egg, but he was murdered in 1834 in Laurens Co., GA, and the man who was tried for the murder was acquitted, telling us something, not sure what.

So maybe our ancestors did not pass on family names because they just didn't like the ancestor or didn't like others with that name that might have felt they were being honored with a namesake. My ancestor Richard did name his two older sons, Hampton and Isaac, for his two brothers, so he must have liked them.

Richard named his youngest son by his first wife, the son that is my ancestor, Alford/Alfred Lawson Hudson- he moved to Houston CO., GA c. 1837 and married there Mary Jane Parker, and died there c. 1857. She and their children moved on to Columbus, Georgia, shortly thereafter. But we do not know for whom Alford Lawson Hudson was named-he was the first one to have a middle name- and Lawson was a well-known family in Jefferson County, legislator/congressman or whatever. Richard also named one of his nine children by his second wife Roger Lawson Gamble Hudson after another member of the Lawson family. But were they related?

Another naming of a child that has come up in this research is that of the Parsons family who lived next door to the Hudsons for decades. Thomas Parsons died leaving a will in 1820s in Jefferson Co., GA. His son Thomas Alexander Parsons (1814-1872) died in Johnson CO., GA. But he had married Malvina Jones, daughter of Henry Philip Jones, the owner of Birdsville Plantation,now in Jenkins County. They named a son after her father but did not give him the surname as a middle name, calling him simply Henry Philip Parsons- so if you were a descendant trying to find the namesake, that guy got shortchanged.

In my Willis family in Georgia, Robert L. Willis (he lived in Jasper and Putnam Counties) and Isabel Frazer had six children, but the one named for the wife's father, Arthur Frazer of Lincoln CO., GA, died young, and thus that name was not found in later public records, had it been, the jump back to his line would have been easy. The son who was my ancestor, Littleberry Kinnebrew Willis (1812-1880) married Nancy Motley and had 15 children and not a one had the Frazer name of his mother, the closest they came was a son named Zebulon Arthur Willis, carrying on the Arthur name, but not Frazer. So you never know how your ancestors chose the names for their children, so beware when you jump to conclusions as to what might be a family surname clue. (The Willises with the 15 children didn't repeat her Mother's family surname of BARBEE either.)

On a similar matter- do you know for whom you were named? How have you picked the names for your own children? Have you recorded the choices for futured generations?