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Mary Rudd's Geni Profile

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Mary Rudd (Birchard)

Also Known As: "Mary Birchard"
Birthplace: Terling, Essex, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Birchard (Birchwood) and Mary Birchard
Wife of Jonathan Rudd
Sister of Elizabeth Bliss; Sarah Barnard; Susanna Wade; John Birchard; Thomas Birchard and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mary Rudd

ii Mary BIRCHARD 1, 2, 3 was christened 2 Apr 1623 in Terling, Essex, England.

The claim has been made for some years in various secondary sources that daughter Mary Birchard was the famous, unnamed "Bride of Bride's Brook." Unfortunately without some evidence that she actually married the groom, Jonathan Rudd, or that only Thomas Birchard was prominent & influential enough to cause Gov. Winthrop to travel out in the snow to perform this marriage, no identification can be made. (3)

"Through the Niantic section of what is now the town of East Lyme flows Bride's Brook, a small stream which took its name from an unusual, romantic episode that occurred sometime in the winter of 1646-1647. At that time, according to tradition, a young man named Jonathan (sometimes Thomas) Rudd was in great haste to marry his sweetheart of long standing. For one reason or another -- some say a blizzard came up, others that the magistrate was away on business -- the official who was scheduled to perform the wedding service was not available when Rudd needed him. Since the law then required that one must wed in his home parish, the eager bridegroom searched the jurisdiction high and low for a minister or magistrate, but could find none.

"Hearing that John Winthrop, later Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was visiting in nearby New London, Rudd appealed to the man from Massachusetts for resolution of his problem. But since New London was then under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop had no authority to marry the couple outside his zone of authority. Finally, however, the wise Winthrop saw a way out of the dilemma. While the bridal party stood on the west bank of the brook known by the Indians as Sunkapung ("cold water"), in the couple's own parish, Winthrop stood on the east bank, within his New London jurisdiction, and there, across the babbling brook he united the happy pair in holy-and legal-matrimony. From that day forward the stream was called Bride's Brook.

"Interestingly enough, Bride's Brook later figured in a dispute that inspired some fanciful stories. It all began when the people of Lyme questioned the legality of the brook as a boundary with New London. In order to save the expense of an appeal to the courts in Hartford, it was agreed by both towns that they would abide by the results of a bare-knuckle fight between two representatives from each town. Since the boys from Lyme proved more accomplished free-style brawlers than the New Londoners, the boundary was moved east to the Niantic River."


  1. Banks, Charles Edward, The History of Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Massachusetts (Boston: G.H. Dean, 1911-25.), 2:49, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974.41 M37Ba.
  2. Glazier, Prentiss, "Thomas and Mary (Robinson) Birchard: Their Origin, Ancestry and Family," The American Genealogist 51:1 (Jan 1975), p. 18, Los Angeles Public Library.
  3. Anderson, Robert Charles, George F. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2007.), 1:296, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 A549-1.


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Mary Rudd's Timeline

April 2, 1623
Terling, Essex, England
April 2, 1623
Terling, Essex, England
April 2, 1623
Terling, Essex, England
April 2, 1623
Terling, Essex, Eng
September 29, 1934
Age 311
October 31, 1934
Age 311
April 11, 1946
Age 323
January 23, 1987
Age 363
February 20, 1987
Age 363
March 18, 1987
Age 363