Family Stories

Captain James Rudd – From Prince George County Maryland to Jefferson County Kentucky

Let me introduce you to a valuable source for old books.  If you visit you can search for books on any subject – and then download them to your computer.  In this way I have found many books on Kentucky, counties of Kentucky and people of Kentucky.  At this website I found The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century, published by the Cincinnati, Ohio, J. M. Armstrong & Company in 1878.  I found the following excerpt about a member of the Rudd family, from Washington County.  Alexander Brook Rudd, son of William Brook Rudd, married Louise Mary ‘Lilly’ Montgomery, a sister to my Robert E. Lee Montgomery.  I knew that the Rudd’s came to Washington County from Maryland, but the rest was new and interesting.  Afterwards I checked old newspapers for more information.

Captain James Rudd was born June 13, 1789, in Prince George County, Maryland.  In 1796, his parents came to Kentucky and settled near Springfield, Washington County.  They were members of the Catholic Church and reared their children in that faith.  James Rudd received a limited education, attending school only about six months under the father of the venerable Judge Henry Pirtle, and at an early age left his father’s house and started in life for himself.  He first apprenticed himself to the carpenter trade, in Nelson County, and in 1808 settled in Louisville, then a mere village.  He believed that Louisville would become a great city, and, acting on that opinion, he at once began to purchase real estate, and soon laid the foundation of his future success.  He was the first roman Catholic who resided in Louisville, and boldly maintained his religious opinions.  In 1815 he raised a company of riflemen, and prepared to join General Jackson in Louisiana, but the news of the battle of New Orleans being received, his services were not required.  He was a man of industrious habits, was always engaged; accumulated a considerable fortune; was never known to take advantage of any man’s ignorance in a business transaction; was distinguished for his uprightness of character, and besides taking charge of his own interests, which had become considerable by long persevering effort, he had the management of many large estates left to his care; was open-handed in his charities, never failing to befriend the needy or support any good cause in the community; took a very active part in the affairs of the city, and, until the Know-Nothing party came into existence, was a Henry Clay Whig, and was elected by that party to the City Council; in 1831, represented Louisville in the Legislature, and was again elected to that body in 1840.  During one term of his service in the Legislature, his brothers, Dr. Christopher Rudd, of Washington County, and Major Richard Rudd, of Nelson County, were also members of that body.  He was a man of unyielding perseverance, and, although meeting on several occasions with great loss, both by fire and risks for friends, he never gave up, and was never discouraged, believing that by the proper exertion and means every obstacle could be overcome, and success be established on the ruins caused by misfortune.  He was a member of the Louisville Council for over twenty-five years, and during that period did a vast amount of work for the improvement of the city, and probably few of its citizens ever did more; and so thoroughly was he established in the estimation of the people for his superior judgment and general worth of character, that he was elected a member from Louisville of the Convention of 1849, which framed the present Constitution of the State.  He held to his opinions with great pertinacity, but never attempted to force them upon others.  When the rebellion broke out, he sympathized strongly with the South, but took an active interest in he suffering and general welfare of the country.  Capt. Rudd was married, in 1821, to Miss Nannie Phillips, only daughter of the late Thomas Phillips, of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  She espoused his religion, and all of their children were educated in the Catholic academies and colleges of the country.  He died of heart disease, May 8, 1867.  His widow and seven of their children, Sallie R., Dr. Richard H., James C., Charles P., John D., Anna, and Thomas S. Rudd, survived him.

October 11, 1821, James Rudd marriage Nancy Phillips, the said Nancy being the daughter of Thomas Phillips, whose consent hath been satisfactorily stated, married 11th October 1821, and license returned.

An interesting article about a body found in the river in front of the home of Captain James Rudd.  The man’s skull was fractured and it was supposed he was murdered.

The Louisville Daily Courier, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Friday, September 15, 1854

Captain James Rudd died May 8, 1867, at his residence on Jefferson St. in Louisville.  He was mourned by many in the community, but not more than by his wife and children.

The Louisville Daily Courier, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, May 9, 1867

James Rudd was buried in St. Louis Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

3 replies »

  1. Would love to use this but nothing comes up. Complicated. Dlee

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  2. Thanks for posting. Cpt. James Rudd is our great, great grandfather. His daughter Anna married Amos Riley Taylor of Owensboro. Their granddaughters, my mother and her sister, found their way back east to Maryland, thus completing the Maryland-Kentucky circle! There was substantial emigration, largely Catholic, from Maryland to Kentucky in the post-1790 years, landing first in Bardstown, later establishing the first diocese west of the Appalachians.

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