THOMAS MUDD II (circa 1680 – 1739)

Thomas Mudd II was born about 1679 or 1680 in Charles County, Maryland (TMII was deposed 4 June 1732 and stated he was 52 years old; he has been said to have been born in Port Tobacco).  He was not the first Thomas as that distinction belonged to his father Thomas Mudd I, the immigrant.  His mother was Sarah Boarman, the daughter of William Boarman, which connected the Mudd surname with Maryland gentry.  Sarah Boarman had first been married to Thomas Matthews of Port Tobacco, a union resulting in at least three children.  These Matthews children were Thomas Mudd II’s older half siblings.  Thomas Mudd II also had a half sister from his father’s first marriage to Juliana Gardiner (married TMI about 1672 and she passed away about 1674).

Location of Port Tobacco and the Charles County boundaries in 1680.  Note the county bordered the Native American lands not yet claimed by the Maryland Colony

Thomas Mudd I and Sarah Boarman Mudd (married by 1678) lived in Portobacco, Maryland on Boarman’s Manor, more specifically on a 450 acre tract known as Hall’s Place (several documents place their home as Hall’s Place).  Sarah Boarman Mudd had at least four children with Thomas Mudd I before her death in 1684 or 1685 (in 1685, TMI was involved in a lawsuit for Sarah’s inherited portion of Boarman’s Manor).  Thomas Mudd II was very young when his mother Sarah Boarman-Mudd died, about five years of age.  The third wife of Thomas Mudd I was Ann Matthews, who became the mother figure for all the previously born Mudd children.  Sarah Boarman-Mudd’s children from her first husband Thomas Matthews likely were raised by Thomas Mudd and Ann Matthews-Mudd since Ann Matthews was the younger sister of Thomas Matthews. 

Also during the 1680s, the appearance of witches in the American Colonies were reaching new heights.  Maryland did not have the witch issues Massachusetts had during this time but witches were being identified.  Prior to Thomas Mudd II’s birth, a Charles County court trial was heard when Joan Mitchell, who was well known in Charles County as a witch, accused four residents of slandering her.  Just a few miles away in St. Mary’s County, their courts tried Elizabeth Bennett in 1665 (later cleared of sorcery) and John Cowman in 1774.  Cowman was charged and convicted for witchcraft, conjuration, sorcery, and enchantment upon the body of Elizabeth Goodale but the Maryland Upper House of the Assembly cleared him before execution.   In 1685 at St. Mary’s County, Maryland, Rebecca Fowler was executed as a witch.  The following year, Hannah Edwards was identified as a witch and her case went to trial in April at St. Mary’s County Court.  Finally in May 1686, she was acquitted, the courts ruling they did not believe that she was a witch.

In October 1696, Thomas Mudd I wrote his will and within months he was deceased (will proven in March 1697).  His wife Ann and his first son Thomas Mudd II were the executors.  The children of Thomas Mudd I and his first two wive's (Juliana Gardiner-Mudd and Sarah Boarman-Mudd) were left with no living parents.  Oldest daughter Juliana was married and received land (120 acre - Jarvis) and second daughter Barbara was likely of legal age as she received land (200 acre - Mudd’s Rest).  The rest of the children were probably under 18.  Children Henry (received 400 acre - Boarman’s Reserve) and George (received 400 acre - Carnarvon) Mudd were placed in the care of older sister Juliana and Thomas Clarke, possibly identifying them as half siblings.  This also likely identifies the remaining children as those belonging to Ann Matthews-Mudd since she would raise her own children (and a December 1698 document stated Ann Mathews had four children with Thomas Mudd I).  Also receiving land was the minor John Mudd (180 acre - St. Catherine’s and 250 acre - Carnarvon).  If a son would die, then that son’s land would pass to the other male heirs of Thomas Mudd I.

The location of Port Tobacco in Charles County, Maryland in 1696

Thomas Mudd II received a large portion of the estate (at that time and after the marriage or decease of his step-mother Ann Matthews-Mudd), as was the tradition of the day.  Clearly, he received a 650 acre tract known as Brierwood (or Bryerwood) that his father purchased from Fowke in 1686.  The land was on the south side of Main Run (Mattawoman Creek) in Pangya Manor east and west of Port Tobacco Creek in Charles County.  Another tract he inherited was known as Bowling’s Reserve, possibly at Chaptico Hundred in southeast Charles County.  The land was the focus of some dispute after Sarah Boarman-Mudd’s death as it was formerly owned by William Boarman.  The dispute was settled in 1703 and came under the final ownership of Thomas Mudd II.  His third and final inheritance was for the 450 acre tract called Hall’s Place.  This particular tract of land was to be used by the widow (and his step-mother) Ann Matthews-Mudd until her death but may have gone to Thomas Mudd II after she married Philip Hoskins (prior to December 1698 when she was first called Ann Hopkins, executor of Thomas Mudd will).

The siblings and half siblings of Thomas Mudd II.  Several researchers have placed Sarah Mudd as a child of Sarah Boarman and Thomas Mudd.  The Thomas Mudd I will listed his children in male order (Thomas, Henry, George, John) and then female order (Juliana, Sarah, Jane, and Ann).  No other descriptors were given as to which child belonged to which wife (though Henry and George were left under the care of Barbara and her husband).  Thomas Mudd II was an executor so he was legal age.  Dates are estimates.

Prior to settling in for marriage and children, Thomas Mudd II became active in the community as a land speculator, considering he had recently become a prominent land owner.   In 1699, he paid for a survey of 338 acres adjoining his step-mother’s home at Hall’s Place.  The new tract was called Hall’s Lott and before the survey was finalized to a patent, Thomas Mudd II sold the land to Benjamin Hall (likely the source of the Hall’s Place and Hall’s Lott name).  During this time, Thomas Mudd II was also active as an interpreter.  On 4 June 1700, he was paid (through Captain Philip Hoskins who had married his father’s widow about 1699) for traveling 30 miles to act as an interpreter between military officers and Native Americans.  This skill must have been a family skill as his grandfather Major William Boarman also acted as a Native American interpreter. 

Thomas Mudd II’s father and mother were deceased but there was still a connection to his step-mother Ann Hopkins.  She would be raising Thomas Mudd II’s half Mudd siblings (Sarah, Jane, John, and Ann) and also several young Philip Hoskins children who had been left without a mother (William Hoskins, Philip Hoskins, and Mary Hoskins).  His step-mother would have new children as well over the next ten years with Philip Hoskins – Oswald Hopkins, Bennett Hopkins, Ballard Hopkins, Martha Hopkins, and Mary Ann Hopkins.  Sadly both Ann and Philip Hoskins were dead by 1719 and the children would be raised by family.  However, any land that Ann Matthews-Mudd-Hoskins had received from Thomas Mudd I’s will would have then gone back to Thomas Mudd II.

In late 1700, Thomas Mudd II was taken to court because he “would not set off the widow’s one-third to Ann (his step-mother).”  His step-mother’s new husband Philip Hoskins brought suit to compel him to release Ann’s land.  In October 1700, the Provincial Court to measure all the lands within five tracts [Brierwood (150 acres), Boreman’s Reserve (488 acres), Carvarvon (600 acres), St. Catherines (188 acres), and Jarvis (120)] acres named in the Thomas Mudd I will and set off Ann Hoskins’ one-third.  The next month the measurement was returned but only for the land of Brierwood.  The result of this case is unknown as of this time but Thomas Mudd II appeared to retain much of the land in the original form.

In 1703 and until 1710, Thomas Jamison bought land in the Zekiah Swamp area around where Thomas Mudd II was living.  In 1703, Thomas Mudd II appeared to have sold Hall’s Place to Thomas Jamison (the deed was confirmed in 1710).  In 1710, Thomas Jamison bought the adjoining Hall’s Lott from Benjamin Hall which Thomas Mudd II had previously sold to Benjamin Hall in 1699.  The “deed” that was found in the 1710 Charles County records is perplexing since later records show Thomas Mudd II retained ownership of Hall’s Place.  No records have been able to explain this discrepancy in the Mudd land record.

By 1704 (and probably as early as 1701 or 1702), Thomas Mudd II was married to Rebecca, the widow of John Lowe (the date of 13 October 1704 is found but the source is unknown).  This connection must have been a matter of class positioning as Rebecca appears to have been quite a few years Thomas Mudd II’s elder.  Rebecca’s history is not solid though several documents reveal her potential origin.  Rebecca appears to have been born Rebecca Hatton, daughter of William Hatton and Elizabeth Wilkinson (grandfather William Hatton’s 1715 estate administration, research by Linda Reno, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  She first married John Lowe before 1688 (possibly as early as 1683 as son John Lowe was listed as born in 1683).  Therefore, Rebecca was born about 1663 to 1670, or 10 to 16 years older than Thomas Mudd II.  There is ample evidence to positively connect Rebecca, wife of John Lowe, as the wife of young Thomas Mudd II.

Note: Rebecca Hatton may have been married to a Wright before John Lowe - she was supposedly a Wright as John Lowe married Rebecca Wright.  In 1709, the Thomas Mudd estate noted "Rebecca Mudd, formerly Wright, wife of Thomas Mudd." 

Note: This Rebecca is not Rebecca Giles, sister of Isaac Giles.  She is often noted as first marrying a Wright, then to John Lowe.  According to some histories, Isaac Giles named his sister Rebecca, wife of John Lowe, as his estate administrator.  However the estate of Isaac Giles occurred in and around 1730 and since John Lowe and Rebecca Lowe-Mudd, wife of Thomas Mudd II, were deceased long before that time, that connection could not be accurate.

The widow Rebecca added to the wealth of Thomas Mudd II in the form of land but, most notably in the form of children.  He came to own at least four tracts of land previously in the possession of John Lowe, deceased.  One of these tracts was certainly the home of John and Rebecca Lowe then Thomas II and Rebecca Mudd.  John Lowe was known to have been from St. Georges Hundred, which was the location of two tracts that had been previously in John Lowe’s possession:

·         75 acres in St. Mary’s County known as Inclosure
·         100 acres (part of 200 acre tract) in St. Mary’s County known as Frogg’s Marsh
·         236 acres in Charles County known as Brother’s Joint Interest
·         106 acres in Prince Georges County known as Nonesuch (land at Ox’s Run and was passed to John Lowe Jr.)

St. Mary’s County adjoined Charles County and by 1696, they each had boundaries that would remain constant to the present day.  Two Lowe tracts were in St. Mary’s at St. Georges Hundred, one in Charles County, and the other in Prince Georges County to the north.  The map above show the Hundreds at St. Mary’s County about 1700.  Notice Chaptico Hundred borders Charles County…The Thomas Mudd II tract Bowling’s Reserve was said to have been at Chaptico’s Hundred but in Charles County.

Thomas Mudd II also became the step-father for at least five Lowe children:
·         Elizabeth Lowe
·         Elinor Lowe
·         Alice Lowe
·         John Lowe
·         Rebecca Lowe

There is no way to tell for sure but some of these children may have been from an earlier John Lowe marriage (he is believed to have been much older than Rebecca Hatton).  However, these children are listed in the John Lowe will of 1701.  In October 1704, both Thomas II and Rebecca Mudd, noted as the widow of John Lowe, were asked by the courts to submit an account of the John Lowe estate.  The final account was submitted in 1706 and attachments were added by Thomas II and Rebecca Mudd until at least April 1708.  During this time, they were living in St. Mary’s County.  Thomas Mudd was found in several documents in St. Mary’s County during the early years of his marriage to Rebecca.  In 1705, he was security for the estate of Hugh Hopewell and also for the estate of James Baker.  The 1707 St. Mary’s Rent Roll revealed that Thomas Mudd II owned two tracts in St. Mary’s County – Inclosure at St. Georges Hundred (75 acres, originally John Lowe’s, possession through Rebecca) and Frogg’s Marsh at St. Georges Hundred (100 acres, originally John Lowe’s, originally 200 acres – 100 to Thomas Medford, possession through Rebecca).

Sadly, Rebecca Hatton-Mudd died in 1708 or 1709 as on 30 May 1709, Thomas Mudd II made a payment to John Lowe Jr. and the document revealed that Rebecca Mudd was deceased. Running a plantation and raising children necessitated a mother figure in the home so certainly in 1709 or 1710, Thomas Mudd II remarried.  His second wife would be Cassandra (possible surname Warburton though I have not seen an actual source for it; they were for sure married by 1715 as during that year, they sold land as husband and wife), who was possibly from St. Mary’s County (considering Thomas Mudd II was in St. Mary’s County by 1710). 

Thomas Mudd II’s step-son John Lowe Jr. had to fight for his father John Lowe Sr.’s land, the land that was probably meant for him.  In April 1710, John Lowe Jr. of Prince Georges County requested that the sheriff issue a citation to Thomas Mudd II “for the detention and substration of his [John Lowe Jr.’s] legacy.”  The document further stated that Thomas Mudd II was lately of St. Mary’s County, was a planter, and had “inter-married with Rebecca Wright, widow, which said Rebecca was widow and executrix of the last will and testament of Major John Lowe Sr., deceased.”

On 26 October 1711, the Maryland General Assembly met and read a petition from Henry Mudd regarding his younger brother George Mudd.  Apparently, Henry Mudd had assumed responsibility for his brother during and after the time they had been raised by their older sister.  The court decided or “resolved” that Charles County should maintain George Mudd, the petitioner’s brother and a documented “lunatick” and that the county should take the profits of George Mudd’s estate, if any existed (he had received a 400 acre part of the large 650 acre Carnarvon from his father).  Possibly soon thereafter, Thomas Mudd II took control of his incapacitated brother George Mudd to provide his care, and of course for access to his estate, or his land. 

Thomas Mudd II was still in St. Mary’s County through 1715 (28 May 1715 “Thomas Mudd of St. Maries County”).  A 28 May 1715 special warrant was made by Thomas Mudd II to resurvey the 650 acre Carnarvon tract in Charles County that he now was under his control due to his maintenance for younger brother George Mudd.  The land George Mudd owned as part of his inheritance (400 acres of the Carnarvon tract) appeared to have been taken over by Thomas Mudd II.  Thomas Mudd II’s rationale for the resurvey was to reestablish boundaries that had been lost over time and to save the land for their father’s desires.  Thomas Mudd II informed the St. Mary’s County court (not clear why this was done in SMC) that George Mudd had become “mad and utterly bereaved of his understanding without any hopes or expectations of ever being reduced to his senses.”  Lunatics in Colonial America are now known to have been what is currently called insane.  There were no care facilities for people suffering from insanity and so either the county placed them in a jail or jail-like room away from the public or the family took them in.  Both options usually involved imprisonment, maltreatment, and complete separation from public or social contact. (Note: I have seen some family histories report this 1715 date as a date of death – not sure I believe that unless the transcribe document I read missed some info)

At least two children had been born to Thomas II and Rebecca Mudd:  Thomas Boarman Mudd and Sarah Mudd.  There may have been others.  James Mudd was reportedly born about 1707 while Jeremiah and Eleanor may have also been born prior to 1709.  Unless two of these children were twins, having five children in seven years is unrealistic and therefore one or more of James, Jeremiah, and Eleanor (she must have been from Thomas Mudd II’s marriage to Cassandra as Rebecca had a child she named Eleanor from her first marriage) may have belonged to Thomas II and Casandra Mudd.  Researchers are more certain that the following children were born to Thomas II and Cassandra Mudd: William Mudd, John Mudd, George Mudd, Benedict Mudd, and Cassandra Mudd.  Birth year estimates for these children must have been within the 15 or 20 years after the circa 1710 Mudd-Warburton marriage. (Note: a 1780 Charles County document reported James Mudd’s age in August 1780 as 65 which would place him born about 1714 or 1715.  That would mean Sarah and Thomas III were the only children of Rebecca Hatton.  And if James was the first child of Cassandra, then Thomas Mudd II and Cassandra were married about 1712 and all other children belonged to Cassandra – this is possible as Jeremiah was illiterate and Thomas Mudd III was not – possible clue that they had been raised early on by different parents)

The siblings and step-siblings of Thomas Mudd II, Note Rebecca Giles should actually be Rebecca Hatton

Between 1715 and 1727, no records exists to indicate a location for the Thomas Mudd II family.  However, in 1727 the location of Thomas Mudd II’s home was partially identified in a Charles County, Maryland document.  His home was at the tract known as Hall’s Place.  At this location on the east side of Zachiah (Zekiah) Swamp was a “…roadside that [led] to Mr. Thomas Mudd’s house.”  The Hall’s Place land can be identified by various identifiers: on the north side of Green’s Run, adjoining Green Run, at Zekiah Swamp, adjoining St. Matthew’s Run, and on Boarman’s Manor.  Boarman’s Manor, was established over 50 years before (prior to 1676) and encompassed the many tracts of William Boarman, deceased, on both sides of Zekiah Swamp.  The northernmost part was at present day Bryantown and in all, Boarman’s Manor totaled nearly 4,000 acres.

Map showing estimated location of Brierwood between the Mattawoman and Port Tobacco Creeks (orange upper left), Boarman’s Manor along the Zekiah Swamp to Bryantown (orange middle right), and the approximate area of Bowman’s Reserve, Mudd’s Rest, and Hall’s Place (red circle).  The Carnarvon tract location is unknown but is mentioned as “on the east side of Zekiah Swamp.”

Hall’s Place was located at the Port Tobacco district in Charles County, Maryland.  There was only one Mudd family living in Port Tobacco in 1733 according to the Charles County tax records – Thomas Mudd II (2 taxables) – and he was living in the lower west side of that district.  Next door to Thomas Mudd II was William McPherson who later bought portions of Thomas Mudd II’s land at Brierwood.  There were three other Mudd families in Charles County but they were taxed for land in the upper west side of Newport district.  Two of these men were Thomas Mudd II’s younger brothers Henry Mudd (3 taxables) and John Mudd (1 taxable).  Another Thomas Mudd was taxed for Newport and was either the same Thomas Mudd II for different land, his son Thomas Boarman Mudd who was probably about 25 to 30 years of age or Thomas Mudd, the 25 to 30 year old son of Henry Mudd.  (Note: I feel that the Thomas Mudd in Newport was most likely Thomas Mudd, son of Henry Mudd, who would have been living near his father Henry Mudd in the Newport district)  

John Parnham built the home known as Stagg Hall about 1740 in Port Tobacco

Port Tobacco as it appeared in the 1800s

The town of Port Tobacco on the Port Tobacco River was officially established in 1727 and soon became the second most populous location in Maryland, behind Baltimore.   For many years, the town had operated as the second largest seaport in Maryland, mainly exporting the colony’s chief commodity crop, tobacco.  The Port Tobacco community, located on about 60 acres, consisted of schools, courts, markets, meeting places, and churches.  Many of the homes that were within and surrounding Port Tobacco were used for both residential and commercial purposes.  Christ Church was located prominently in Port Tobacco since the organization of the church parish in 1692.  The church’s original small log structure was replaced in 1709 and accommodated a large congregation until it was destroyed in 1808 by a tornado that also leveled the courthouse and jailhouse (it was replaced by a large brick building in 1818).  That courthouse, with a jailhouse, had stood in Port Tobacco since 1729.

The “Other” Mudds in the Early 1700s

Thomas Mudd I had three sons that would pass on the Mudd name.  Thomas Mudd II was the oldest of the three.  Henry Mudd was born circa 1685 (1721/1722 deposition, aged 36) and received Bowling’s Reserve from his father’s will.  Since both parents were deceased by 1697, Henry and his younger brother George were raised by their older sister Juliana and her husband Thomas Clarke until he claimed his land when he came of legal age.  Later, he added some land bordering Bowling’s Reserve near Devil’s Nest just a few miles north of Bryantown adjoining the northern border of Boarman’s Manor.   Henry Mudd’s wife was Elizabeth Lowe, the stepdaughter of his older brother Thomas Mudd II (evidence to support this in 1709 John Lowe estate settlement papers).  He remained in the Devil’s Nest area and retained Bowling’s Reserve until his death in 1736 at which time he passed the land to his wife and children.  His wife lived as a widow until her death in 1763.  Of their children, only three sons passed on the Mudd name – Henry Mudd, Thomas Mudd, and Bennett Mudd.

John Mudd was born about 1694 or 1695 (a 1755 document listed his age as 60 however he also witnessed the William Boarman will in 1708).  He spent a majority of his childhood with his mother Ann and stepfather Philip Hoskins.  The land John Mudd received from his father included a portion of Carnarvon (250 acres) and a tract known as St. Catherine’s.  His marriage was probably between 1720 and 1725 to Suffaner (most commonly known as Suffaner Smith or Sophia Smith – possibly Sussana? and the “ff” was meant to be “ss,” also found as “Sussane”  – married before 1729 when they were connected in a land document, also the identification of the Smith surname comes from a 20 Feb 1781 document in the estate of John Smith which reveals John Mudd Jr. was kin with this family – connection is not clear).  John Mudd owned the St. Catherine’s tract his entire adult life but the fate of Carnarvon is unclear (though his son John sold part of Carnarvon in 1782).  John Smith paid tax until his death on only the St. Catherin’s tract.  Only a few adult children are attributed to John and Suffaner Mudd; Clement Mudd (from will, born circa 1726), Sophia Mudd (born circa 1728), John Mudd II (from will, born circa 1731), and possibly another daughter named Ann (born circa 1735).  John Mudd died in 1756 leaving his wife Suffaner and two sons, Clement and John Mudd II.  Suffaner remained a widow and handled his estate administration until after 1760.

The Thomas Mudd II will was written 25 July 1739 and was probated on 23 November 1739 in Charles County, Maryland.  Other sources report his actual death date as 11 November 1739 which fits with the will date and probate date (the primary source for the death date is unknown).  In his will, he reveals that he is known as "Thomas Mudd, gentleman."  At the age of about 60, he left his wife Cassandra (of nearly 30 years) and at least 10 children, five of which were still minors.  Children Sarah Mudd (already married to Thomas Hagan) and Thomas Mudd III were obviously children of Thomas Mudd II’s first marriage.  Other sons were named that were probably adults over 18 – James Mudd and Jeremiah Mudd.  Also Eleanor “Ellen” Mudd (married to George Tarvin) was an adult.  Others named were minors William Mudd, John Mudd, George Mudd, Benedict Mudd, and Cassandra Mudd.

Named as executors were wife Cassandra and logically, his first born son Thomas Mudd III.  However, Thomas Mudd III chose to renounce the execution of the will and was not involved in the probate or appraisal.  In December 1739, Cassandra Mudd was the lone executor and the stated next of kin are only James Mudd and John Mudd, who were both Thomas Mudd II’s sons.  Similarly, in July 1742 Cassandra was again acting executor of Thomas Mudd II’s will but then Thomas Mudd III was serving as surety distributing payments from Thomas Mudd II’s estate (one to his brother James Mudd).