Two significant events in American religious history took place the year that John Mudge was born. The first was that the first Jews settled in New Amsterdam. They had fled the Spanish Inquisition in Brazil. The second was that the Governor William Fuller of Maryland abolished the Toleration Act which permitted Catholics to practice their religion. Governor Fuller also removed Lord Baltimore from authority.

Photo Credit: J. Nathan Matias

John Mudge

John Mudge is the sixth great grandfather of Rachel Wilcox Liberacki.

John Mudge was born in Malden, Massachusetts during 1654 and remained in Malden throughout his life.

In his "The Mudges of Walden, James Keys gives the following profile of our shared ancestor:

He was one of the 74 proprietors or freeholders among whom was divided in 1695, the common lands, amounting to about 3,500 acres, nearly 50 acres apiece or something like half the town as it was then constituted, seven miles long by four wide. He was also one of the Narragansett grantees, having been a soldier in the war of 1675 and an active participant in the great Swamp Fight, Sunday, December 19, 1675, when nearly 1,000 Indian warriors are said to have perished. Captain Moseley's company, to which he belonged, were the first to enter the fort of the enemy and lost 19 of his men. He was elected constable for the town of Malden, March 14, 1692. John Mudge was the only Malden survivor of this fight among the Narragansett grantees in 1732. He was also tithingman, collector of rates, surveyor of highways, 1692, fence viewer, etc., etc., holding these offices several years. The duties of the tithingman (so called from being orginally set over 10 families) was chiefly to preserve order in the meeting-house and enforce the general observation of the Sabbath, with reference to which the Puritans were exceedingly particular.
The constable was a man of great importance. There was but one such town officer during most of the colonial period, although during part of the time in certain places two were found necessary. He was a petty magistrate and enforcer of the law with power over all offenders. He could "apprehend without warrant such as be overtaken with drink, swearing, Sabbath breaking, lying, vagrant persons and night walkers." He was obliged "to take notice of common costers [accosters] unprofitable fowlers, and other idle persons and tobacco takers," and secure "any inhabitant or stranger after tenne of the clock at night behaving themselves deboist [debauched or in debauchery] or that giveth not a reasonable ground to ye constable or watchman, or shall be in drinck " ; to give warning "unto any inhabitants of their town, whether men or women, that live from their husbands or wives, to appear at the said court of ye county to answer for their so doing." The constable's badge of office provided by the town was a black staffe about 5 foote long, tipped at the upper end about 5 or 6 inches with brasse. To John Mudge and a few others (Benjamin Hills, Thomas Burdett, Nathaniel Upham) the town voted, March 16, 1713, permission to build a gallery in the meeting-house," between the two great beams over the front gallery." He was one of the owners of stable room for two horses in the sheds near the meeting-house. The Mudge farm, occupied by the family for some sixty years, was in the south-east part of the town, at what was called Turkey Hill, a tract of 65 acres, previously a part of the lands of Job Lane, builder of the Bell Rock meetinghouse; previously to that it was a portion of the allotment to the Rev. John Harvard, benefactor of the College, then to Leavitt Corbett of Charlestown who resided there till his death in 1855. The house was not torn down until 1893. The land afterwards passed to the Chittendens and is now a portion of the Woodlawn Cemetery property.

John Mudge married Ruth Burdett in 1684 and was survived by two children, John and Martha. [His first son, John, died in infancy.] He made his will in 1726, seven years before his death, then 72 years. It begins as follows: "In the name of God, Amen. In the year of our L,ord, 1726, I, John Mudge of Malden, in the county of Middlesex, in New England, yeoman, being in good health, though very aged, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God for it, therefore calling to mind the unstability of my body, and knowing that it is appointed for man once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say, principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it, and free pardon and forgiveness of all my sins; and to inherit everlasting life; and my body I commit to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor hereafter named, nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God.

From Alfred Mudges' Memorials, we learn the following about John's land dealings:

  • 30 March 1704: "John Mudge of Malden, yeoman, sells Samuel Green Senr of Malden, for £14, Thirty seven Acres land in Malden."
  • 20 January 1706/07: "The heirs of Job Lane sell to John Mudge of Malden for £200 A tenement in Malden."
  • 15 August 1709: "John Mudge of Malden, farmer, with consent of wife Ruth, to James Whittemore, for £18, 2 acres Land."
  • 20 March 1717: ""John Mudge of Malden, farmer, to William Sargent for £48 : Eight acres land."
  • 29 March 1717: "John Mudge of Malden, farmer, with consent of wife Ruth, to Joseph Sargent for £46, 15 Acres Land."
  • 15 April 1726: Made a will that left "all his real and personal estate to son John, except half of his household goods; gives his daughter, Martha Edes, half of his household goods and £150 in money; they to come in possession after the death of his wife Ruth."1

1Although his will was dated 15 April 1726, it was not proved until 26 November 1733; about one month after his death.


Thomas Mudge
Mary Ball


Ruth Burditt


John Mudge
Martha Mudge

Photo Gallery



Brown, Abraham English. History of the Town of Bedford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts From Its Earliest Settlement to the Year of Our Lord 1891, Embracing an Account of Indian Claims and Troubles; Colonial Grants; Sketches of Its Heros; Its Past in the Struggle for Independence and the War for Nationality; Its Burial Grounds and Epitaphs; Its Industrial Success; and a Record of Its Whole Progress with a Genealogical Register of Its Old Families. Bedford, MA: By the Author, 1891.

Cutter, William Richard. (ed.) Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Vol. 3. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908.

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.

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.

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

Usher, Edwin Preston. A Memorial Sketch of Roland Greene Usher, 1823-1895 to which is added a Genealogy of the Usher Family in New England from 1638 to 1895.. Privately Printed for the Family, 1895.

Website Maintained by

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