This is an English habitation name for one dwelling in or near a swamp. The name is recorded as such in the late 17th century and, unlike several locational or habitation names, hasn't undergone any spelling changes. An interesting name bearer was William Mudge (1762-1820), godson of Dr. Johnson. He became director of ordnance survey in 1798 and lieutenant-colonel in 1804. For his work on the board of longitude and the extension of the meridian line into Scotland, he was promoted to major-general (1819). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Zachariah Mudge (Church of England Divine) which was dated 1694 - 1769 during the reign of King George 111 1760 - 1820 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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