The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed legislation that every town with more than 50 families would have an elementary school. Towns of 100 or more were to have a Latin School as well. Although these schools were not free, they set the stage for the public education system that would develop in the United States.

The reason that education was important to the Puritans because being able to read the Bible was so important to their Calvinist tradition.

Mary Ball
(1628- )

Mary Ball is the seventh great grandmother of Rachel Wilcox Liberacki.

Mary Ball1 was born in Malden, Massachusetts around 1628. In 1647, she married Thomas Mudge.2

On 6 October 1657, Mary and her husband "appeared as witnesses at Cambridge against James Barrett "for prophaning the Sabbath and assaulting George Knower."3 A second court appearance in which they appeared as witnesses took place on 28 December 1668. James Mudge describes the event:

These two, Thomas and Mary appeared again as witnesses, Dec. 28, 1698, at the County Court in Charlestown in the case of Peter Tufts and his servant Henry Swillaway, who had been beaten by his master "with the great end of a goode sticke" and threatened with still more chastisement. He naturally retaliated, and this brought him into Court. Thomas Mudge "aged about thirtie foure" testified "I se his man strike his master upon the breast with his hand." Mary Mudge "aged about thirty" affirmed, "that she being at Goodman Torfs of an arand, Gudie Torfs and she hearing the Dine in the yard, we went out of its dore, and his man had got up a great stone, and held it up to throw at his master, as I conseved, but when he se me he threwe it downe; I further Testifie I heard him cal his master base Rouge."

We are not sure when Mary died.4

1The U.S. and International Records database prepared by Yates Publishing and which is available through lists her name as Marie.

2Clarence Almond Tory and his co-author Elizabeth Petty Bently use 1648 as the date of marriage.

3Quoted in Alfred Mudge.

4Some Public Member Trees in place the date as 1662. However, we have a court record that shows he was still living in 1668.


John Paris Ball
Elizabeth Webb


Thomas Mudge


James Mudge
Mary Mudge
Thomas Mudge
John Mudge
George Mudge
Samuel Mudge
Martha Mudge
Jonathan Mudge


Crapo, Henry Howland. Certain Comeoverers. Bedford, MA: E. Anthony and Sons, 1912.

Emmerton, James Arthur. Materials Toward a Genealogy of the Emmerton Family. Salem, MA: Privately Printed, 1881.

Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Volume 1. Philadelphia: J. Lewis and Company, 1888.

Lawrence, Robert Means. The Descendants of Major Samuel Lawrence of Groton, Massachusetts with Some Mention of Allied Families. Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, 1904.

Torrey, Clarence Almon and Elizabeth Petty Bentley. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1985.

Mudge, Alfred. Memorials: Being a Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical Account of the Name Mudge in America, from 1638 to 1868.. Boston: Alfred Mudge and Son, 1868.

Mudge, James. "The Mudges of Malden." "The Register of the Malden Historical Society Malden, Massachusetts.". Number 4. Lynn, MA: Frank S. Witten Printer, 1916.

The Register of the Lynn Historical Society, Lynn, Massachusetts, For the Year 1904. Lynn, MA: Frank S. Whitten, 1905.

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Steven L. Berg, PhD
Last updated on 9 August 2016.