Uncle Dave's book

Saturday, March 29, 2014

52 Ancestors #13: Robert Brick Hudson

     Robert Brick Hudson was born on 28 Feb 1785 in Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts. At least that is what it says in the book, The New Harlem Register.  The data is said to have come from the family. I have not been able to find a record of his birth. It is likely he was born in Northborough, Mass, as this is where the family was living in 1790 and his younger sister, Susannah, is recorded as born there. He was the son of Elisha Hudson and Susannah Brigham. the family moved around quite a bit in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The proof I found of his parentage was a "removal" notice which listed all the children including Robert Brick. A town would issue a removal when they felt that the family was unable to support itself and might end up being supported by the town. So, they weren't wealthy. Robert got his unusual middle name from his mother's great grandfather, Robert Breck(often spelled Brick) who was a famous minister in the town of Marlborough, Mass.

     Sometime after 1800 the family moved to Newport, Quebec, Canada.  This is south of the St. Lawrence near the town of Eaton. I did find an Elisha Hudson in Saco, York, Maine in the 1810 Census but I don't know if that is his father or not. It's seems more likely they would go to Canada from Vermont as it was just to the west of where they were. Robert lived in Canada until 1865. In about 1808 he married Achsah Cross, the birth of their daughter, Achsah Hudson, is recorded in the records of the Presbyterian Church of Eaton. He is called "Lieutenant Robert Hudson". His wife, Achsah, died around 1815 and he married Anna Mariah Delamater on 4 Feb 1816 in the same Presbyterian Church.

     Around this period of time the War of 1812 took place. Robert fought for Canada, i.e. for Great Britain. I find this amazing as his father, his grandfather, and all of his uncles fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War. But, I understand, he fought for his family and his home. Robert was in the Frontier Light Infantry. This was two companies of the Canadian Voltigeurs, a volunteer unit made up mostly of French speaking Quebecois. The two companies known as the Frontier Light Infantry were run separately and were made up of English speaking men from Eastern Quebec townships like Robert. Robert was an Ensign, although he was called Lieutenant in the birth record of Achsah. One battle they fought in was the Battle of Colle, a Canadian victory.  Part of this was fought at Odeltown where Robert's wife's father and family lived so he must have felt very personally involved. The photo below is of the blockhouse at Colle.

       The story told of him in the family is that he was in command of one small battle over a bridge.  He saw that they couldn't hold the bridge and they were outnumbered. If they tried to hold it they would have a great loss of life so he ordered a retreat. He thought he might be courtmartialed for this but instead he was promoted. This was at the Battle of Plattsburg, N.Y. The following is on Ancestry, "13 April, 1814. In consequence of the representation made to the commander of the Forces of the distinguished conduct of Sergeant Hudson of the Frontier Light Infantry, His Excellency is pleased o appoint Sergeant Hudson to be an Ensign, vice Steele, promoted, the above appointment to take place from 20th March, 1814." This story is told by his nephew, Lorenzo Dow Hudson on the back of a picture of his son, Benjamin Lester Hudson. To me this illustrates how the family stayed in touch as Lorenzo was born in New York and died in Massachusetts. Yet he had the photo and knew the story.

      According to the Canadian Immigrant Records Pt. I at the Canadian National Archives, Robert was one of the militia men of 1812-1815 who applied for and received "the gratuity voted by the Parliament in 1875".  He died in January 1875 so either he applied early in January or one of his sons applied for him. he is the only family member that I have found who fought in the War of 1812, and he fought for the British!

     He married Anna Mariah after the War.  They lived in several towns in Eastern Quebec all close together and near Newport. I have found records of him at Drummondville, Iberville, Hinchinbrooke and Huntingdon. He is in the 1825 Canada Census at "Huntingdon Hinchinbrooke", next door to his brother. Samuel Hudson. His brother, Reuben Hudson, stood in for him as proxy at the baptism of his son, Henry, at Drummondville in 1818. Robert and Anna Mariah had 9 children. Sometime after 1843 they moved to Bristol in Pontiac County. This town is on the Ottawa River north of Ottawa. The 1851 Census of Lower Canada lists him as a farmer and says he is living in a log house. I believe that he was involved in logging as this was a big part of the life of the area, sending the logs down the Ottawa River to market.  In July 1865, his wife, Anna Mariah, died. Not long after this he and most of his children moved to Saginaw, Michigan. At that time Michigan was the up and coming lumbering area so I assume that they moved for that reason.

      His daughter, Achsah, and her husband were already living in Michigan per the 1850 Census. His sons George, Henry and William and his daughter Susannah stayed in Canada but his other children moved to Michigan with him, along with their wives and children. We find them all in the 1870 Census. Robert was 85 by then and he died only 5 years later, on 28 Jan 1875. His death certificate gives his cause of death as "old age". If the birth date I have is correct he was 89 but the death certificate says 92.

     Studying his life, Robert Brick Hudson comes across as an impressive man. His nephew wrote his story on the back of a photo. 6 of his nine children named a son after him and many of their children named sons "Robert Brick ". There is a park in Bristol named Hudson Park, could be for Henry but I suspect it is for him!


  1. Hi Wendy

    Do you have a copy of the hand written note by Lorenzo Dow Hudson written on the back of the photo?
    I would love to have a sample of his writing.. We only have a photo taken in hsi later life.


  2. Thank you for your thorough research on Robert Brick Hudson. You filled in a great deal information for us. My great-grandmother was Mary Ann Hudson Woolrich of Parry Sound and Owen Sound, Ontario. Her Father was Joseph Albert Hudson, son of Henry Smith Hudson, son of Robert Brick Hudson and Anna Mariah. Wonderful story.
    Thanks Again. Arlinda Ann Allport