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Ron Dudley
I first became intrigued by my Dudley family history when I inherited five boxes of old pictures and documents when my parents passed away. I began to investigate my ancestry soon after I retired from teaching in 2003 and must admit that ego may have played a role in my original infatuation with genealogy, when I discovered that Governor Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts, the Barons Dudley of Dudley Castle and other notables in history were my direct paternal ancestors.

But what really turned me into a bulldog of family history was the answer to a question I asked of a "cousin" I had never met. I asked her if she knew anything personal about my great grandfather, Joseph Smith Dudley (a twin), telling her I wanted to know anything, "warts and all," She responded by telling me that there was a family rumor that "one of the twins" had moved from Utah to Alberta in order to escape the notoriety of a murder investigation in Utah involving "a woman and another man."

Boy, did that set me back on my heels. Was this something I really wanted to know? As I thought about it, I went from wary, to intrigued, to obsessed and started digging. It took me about a year of sporadic investigation to get anywhere, but then I hit pay dirt. The rumor was true! Very quickly I was able to come up with an immense amount of documentation. The "incident" was heart-wrenching and tragic. A summary is included elsewhere on this site.

I have come to admire and respect my Dudley ancestors covered here - without exception. They seem to have been tough, resilient, honest and hard working. Some played a significant role in western history. Some were, shall we say, eccentric. At least one, possibly several, were hard-nosed. But they are mine and I very much appreciate them - their trials, tribulations and successes. And, of course, their legacy.

A note about my focus. My intent here is to present mostly personal family information that I have uncovered which I don't believe many other Dudleys have access to. I have largely avoided typical genealogical statistics which are available to anyone on the internet. I suspect that some of these tidbits, though likely not of interest to the masses, may work their way into the Dudley record of the future. That is one of my goals.

I have documentation for everything I have included here, in the form of photographs, biographies, legal documents, newspaper articles and letters. However, even documentation requires some interpretation, especially regarding the possible implications of witness testimony at Joe's murder trial. Inevitably, there will be details I have missed, or downright errors, which I regret and will promptly correct if they are brought to my attention.

Though I am not Mormon, the genealogical resources of the LDS Church have been extremely helpful in my research. In addition, I would like to thank the following organizations for providing some of the photographs/documents I have used here: Utah State Archives, USU and BYU Archives, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Draper Historical Society and Utah Digital Newspapers. All have my sincere appreciation.

Ron Dudley