I receive a number of hits to my website and blog from people looking for the famous 19th century Christian missionary to China. Some of the questions I get are: Are you related to Hudson Taylor? Are you a descendant?
To my knowledge, I am not related to James Hudson Taylor.
But I am honored to share his name and his Christian faith.
My maiden name is Hudson and I married a Taylor.
It wasn’t until I established my author website under Jennifer Hudson Taylor that I began to receive these questions. I didn’t even know about the great missionary work of James Hudson Taylor. Naturally I was curious, so I set out to do some research on James Hudson Taylor and discovered many delightful details about how his life has impacted so many lives for Christ. I thank those of you who have asked me about him and wetted my curiosity.
My Hudson ancestors came from England through Richard Hudson I who boarded the ship Safety in 1630 and landed in Accomack County, VA. We have lots of historical documentation proving this family line and recent DNA tests, but only circumstantial evidence beyond Richard to his parents and grandparents. We do know that Richard was related to Henry Hudson, the explorer’s family. According to some of this information, I descend from Henry’s brother, William Hudson.
Hudson Taylor’s Missionary Work
James Hudson Taylor was born in Yorkshire, England on May 21, 1832 to James Taylor and his wife, Amelia Hudson Taylor. His father was a chemist and a lay preacher. Due to all the biographies I’ve read, his parents dedicated him to God, and his mother and sister, Amelia avidly prayed for him to convert to their Christian faith when he had gone astray as a young man.
Their prayers were answered after Hudson read a tract and dedicated himself to a life of service to Christ. Later, he felt called to China. He was very sensitive to the Chinese culture, adopting their style of dress, something that was rare among most evangelists and missionaries of his time. Many believe it was because of this, that he was so successful in reaching the Chinese people for Christ. He established the China Inland Mission (CIM) and worked in China for 51 years. CIM spearheaded a campaign against the Opium trade, brought over 800 missionaries to China, began 125 schools, established over 300 work stations, and resulted in over 18,000 conversions.
Hudson Taylor first married Maria Jane Dyer in 1858, the orphaned daughter of Reverand Samuel Dyer of the London Missionary Society. After her death, he married Jennie Elizabeth Faulding. He had children by both wives, several of whom died in infancy and childhood. Jennie died of cancer in 1904, and Hudson Taylor once again returned to China. He died at home in Changsha and was buried by his first wife Maria. The small cemetery was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, but his marker stone was salvaged and restored. His great-grandson, James Hudson Taylor III, helped a local Chinese church reset it in their church.
For further reading about James Hudson Taylor, visit:
For genealogical information on family ancestry and descendants of James Hudson Taylor, visit:
For more information on my family history and to see if you might be related to me, visit:
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