Sunday, February 23, 2020

2020 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 7: "Favorite Discovery" - William Hudson and Elizabeth Cheek

Asking a genealogist to write about a "favorite discovery" is a lot like asking a musician to name their favorite song - there are far too many to choose from! The subjects of Week 7's theme are definitely among my favorite discoveries, but I chose this particular couple because 1) it took me forever to find them and I am very proud of the fact that I eventually did, and 2) hopefully describing how I found them will help someone else to break down a brick wall.

Joseph P. Hudson, my great-grandfather.
For many years my 3rd-great-grandfather, Vincent Hudson (1805-1880), was a total brick wall. I had heard several family members (including my grandmother, who was born Edna Josephine Hudson) say that the Hudson family was Native American. For a long time I assumed that this was the reason for the brick wall, and didn't devote a whole lot of time to breaking it down. But when mine and my father's DNA results came back, it showed that my father only had about 1% Native American DNA. If the stories about Mamaw Edna's father, Joseph Hudson, being half Native American were true, the percentage should have been much higher. I was able to track down a cousin of my father's who had the Hudson surname, and extracted the most likely Y-DNA group numbers from his DNA results. The Y-DNA revealed that our Hudson line originated in Northern Europe, meaning that if the 1% of Native American DNA in my father's results did indeed originate from the Hudson side, it had to have been from one of the wives' lines and not from the Hudson line itself.

I started looking into records pertaining to Vincent Hudson. I finally found the names of his parents on the record of his second marriage, to Hester Rupel: "William and Elizabeth Hudson". As you can imagine, the name Hudson is a fairly common one, so there were many Williams and Elizabeths who were potential candidates for Vincent's parents.

I realized at this point that I would probably never be able go back any further than William and Elizabeth using traditional research methods, so I turned to DNA results to help me fill in the blanks. After painstakingly searching through dozens of matches with the surname of Hudson in their trees, I found that many of those matches descended from David Hudson (1728 -1811) and Keziah Plunkett Hudson (1732-1807). David and Keziah's family had already been well-researched and well-documented, so it was easy to find that they did indeed have a son named William Hudson, who married Elizabeth Cheek. In all of the published information that I found about David and Keziah's family, there was no mention of William and Elizabeth after their marriage.

I added David and Keziah as William Hudson's parents in my tree, so that the Ancestry algorithms could work their magic and hopefully reveal more matches that descended from this couple. It worked, and I soon found matches that descended from ancestors of this couple as well. It was solid evidence, but not yet conclusive.

When Ancestry came out with their ThruLines feature, it made finding other descendants of David and Keziah (as well as their ancestors) much easier. But when I saw one day that I had a Potential Ancestor hint on ThruLines to William Cheek and Elizabeth Lindel Cheek, it confirmed my theory, as far as I was concerned. All of the published research that I had found on David Hudson's family had never mentioned the name of Elizabeth Cheek Hudson's father. The fact that a William Cheek had turned up in my potential ancestors, with DNA matches descending from four of his other children, could not be a coincidence. 

This DNA evidence, combined with the traditional research, proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the William and Elizabeth Hudson who were recorded as Vincent Hudson's parents on his second marriage record were William Hudson, son of David and Keziah Plunkett, and Elizabeth Cheek, daughter of William Cheek and Elizabeth Lindel.

~ ~ ~

My descent from David and Keziah Plunkett Hudson is as follows:

David Hudson 1728-1811
5th great-grandfather

William Hudson 1750-1811
Son of David Hudson

Vincent Hudson 1805-1880
Son of William Hudson

Joseph Patterson Hudson 1839-1914
Son of Vincent Hudson

Joseph P. Hudson 1881-1954
Son of Joseph Patterson Hudson

Edna Josephine Hudson 1921-2011
Daughter of Joseph P. Hudson

Joseph Wayne Kessinger 1958-
Son of Edna Josephine Hudson

Allison Quinn Kessinger
You are the daughter of Joseph Wayne Kessinger

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