There are a bunch of us genealogists researching John Zufelt Hudson, and we would all like to know who his parents were. We all have the same piece of evidence, a few typewritten pages passed from hand to hand, much photocopied, outlining the descendants of Stephen Remington and Thankful Hill, of Rutland, Vermont, and later, Onondaga County, New York. I have no idea who wrote the original copy, I got mine from my sister, who got it from… someone. (I wasn’t great about citing my sources back then.)
Stephen and Thankful’s daughter, Meriba, my fourth great-grandmother, married John Zufelt Hudson. What a great name, Zufelt. Is it Dutch? I have no clue. But I finally have a prime suspect for his parents. Amos and Mehitable (?) Shepherd Husdson. You may not agree with me, but I’m going to outline my reasons for suspecting Amos and perhaps we can pool our evidence and finally solve this mystery.
1. According to the entry for his death in the 1850 census (requires Ancestry.com subscription), John was born about 1807 in New York. He was a shoe maker. In the 1800 and 1810 U.S. censuses (Ancestry.com), Amos Hudson is the only Hudson listed as a head of household in Onondaga County, New York, where John Z. Hudson lived. In 1800, Amos has 3 male children under 10 in his household. In 1810, he has 1 male child under 10 in his household, 1 aged 10-15 and 1 female child under 10. Amos and his presumed wife, the only female in the household, are aged 26-44 in both censuses, which would mean that they were born between approximately 1766 and 1774.
2. The Journal of the Rev. Hugh Wallis, transcribed at Onondaga NYGenWeb, says the following:
- Funerals attended by Rev. Wallis
1805, 11 Aug. Mrs. Amos Hudson
- Marriages Performed by Rev. Wallis Between Persons from Pompey and Fabius
1807, Aug. Mr. Amos Hudson to Mrs. ___ Shepherd, both of Pompey
3. There are two deeds involving Amos Hudson, the first in 1797, the second in 1811. In the first, Amos Hudson’s occupation is given as “tanner”, in the second, he’s listed as a “shoemaker”, just like John. In the second deed, his wife is named, Mehitable.
4. The Mrs. Shepherd that Amos married in 1807 is likely the Mehitable named in the deed. If John’s age at death is correct, and Amos is John’s father, then Mehitable is likely his mother. If John’s age at death is not correct, the first Mrs. Amos Hudson was likely his mother.
5. Amos Hudson died after 1811 (deed) and before 1820, when the “Widow Mehitable Hudson” is listed in the census. A male aged 16-18 was in the household with her. If this was John, then he may have been born before 1807. The 1840 census shows him as 30-39, or born between 1801 and 1810.
For me, the compelling details are that Amos Hudson is the only likely suspect in Onondaga County at the time of John’s birth — Amos is also listed in the Early NYS tax records from 1799-1803 — and he is a shoemaker, a fairly uncommon profession, just like John. I think this is John Zufelt Hudson’s father.