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[Ardingly Muddles] [Buxted Muddles]

[Framfield Muddles] [Laughton Muddles]

[Mayfield Muddles] [Waldron Muddles]



[Harrietsham Muddles]



[Portland Muddles] [Wimborne Muddles]


[Muddle Stories] [Related Families]







[Organisation of this Website]





Church of St Margaret the Queen, Buxted, Sussex, built 1250.

In whose registers, dating from 1565, many Muddles are recorded.

They were baptised at its ancient font when they entered this world,

and they left their mortal remains to rest in its surrounding graveyard.

Resurrection of at least a memory of them is the aim of this website,

anything more we leave to the God they worshiped in this sacred building.


The purpose of this website is to present to those interested in the family history, family trees, genealogy and lineage of the MUDDLE families the results of my one-name study of the name Muddle and its variants. My study like most one-name studies, started as a result of my research into my own ancestry. This showed that my mother’s family, she was Ivy Muddle, had been living for over 300 years in the little Sussex village of High Hurstwood that I was born and raised in, and before that they had only moved from the adjacent parish of Rotherfield. This led me to investigate the name more generally resulting in the discovery that it was predominately a South-East England name and quite rare in its occurrence.

The Office of National Statistics database of surnames currently (2005) in use in England and Wales, which is based on National Health Records, lists Muddle as the 17290th most frequent name, Muddell as the 34906th, Mudle as the 76659th and Muddel as the 109436th.

My one-name study has been registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies where you may well find studies of other names that you are interested in. The aim of my one-name study is to produce as comprehensive a history of the Muddle families as the surviving records will allow, from the earliest records in the 13th century to the present-day. Considerable progress to this end has been made, and the majority of the results are now on this website, except that more recent living generations have been omitted for reasons of privacy. This is by no means the end of the research, because as more information becomes accessible much more detail can be added to our ancestors' lives and some of the outstanding mysteries solved.

The information that I have collected over the last twenty or so years has enabled me to construct a number of family lines, and for ease of reference I have given names to those for which I have so far produced detailed lineage charts and written histories. Three of these family lines originated in Sussex, the Ardingly Muddles, the Buxted Muddles and the Framfield Muddles, and account for the majority of living Muddles, including those in Australia, Canada and the USA. Kent is the county from which the second greatest number of Muddles came, and most of these have now been connected into one family, the Harrietsham Muddles, that includes the prosperous shipbuilding Muddles of Gillingham and the three brothers who migrated to New York State. The Mayfield Muddles are another line that originated in Sussex, but only the branch that settled in Kent has currently been documented. Two lines of Dorset origin are the Portland Muddles and the Wimborne Muddles, the Portland Muddles mostly ended up in Dover and the Wimborne Muddles ended up in London, the name dying out in Dorset itself. These seven families include all known living Muddles and at least 90% of historic Muddles. Some of the other 10% of known historic Muddles have been connect into several small families and they will be added to this website as time permits.

Contact with anyone interested in any aspect of their Muddle ancestry is welcome; I am happy to help them with advice and information and hope that they will feel able to add to the information known about these families, as a free exchange of information seems to lead to the most interesting results. Contact.


The Edwardian Wedding of Percy & Laura Muddle





The main section of this website is the histories of the named families. There are two parts to these histories, the narratives and the charts. The families are too large, particularly the ‘Buxted Muddles’, to show on one chart so they have been split into sections based on the descendents of one family member and their spouses. There is a narrative page for each of these family sections with a link to its chart. The introduction narrative for each family gives an overview of that family and has a link to a chart showing how all the sections of that family link together. There is also a separate charts page that gives direct access to all the charts for a family.

The charts are shown in a separate browser window to the narrative pages so that you can easily click between the narrative and the chart of the family section you are studying. If you have a large enough display and are using a browser such as Internet Explorer that display separate windows, rather than a browser such as Firefox, Netscape or Opera that have tabbed pages, you can have the narrative and at least part of its chart conveniently displayed side by side in differently sized windows. The browsers display images like the charts reduced in size to fit the window on initial loading; the charts need expanding to full-size, by clicking the curser plus sign, to be read clearly. You can then pan around the chart using your mouse’s scroll button or the scroll bars.

It has not been possible to link people on the charts directly to their section in the narrative, but clicking on their entry in the index for that family will take you directly to their section in the narrative. A tip here is to, where possible, use a spouse’s name as it will be more unique and quicker to look up than a Muddle, many of whom had the same name and are only differentiated in the index by their dates.

For those of you who do not know into which of the families you may fit there is a Master Index, which lists all the family members of those families that are currently on this website. Remember though that more recent generations are not included so you will probably be looking for grandparents or earlier generations.

There are also four other general pages.

Origins, which explains the evidence for the name’s origin in Sussex, the occupations of the early holders of the name, how they begin to migrate out from the origin area, the possible meaning of the name and variations in the spelling of the name.

Early Records, which is a collection of 16th and 17th records not connected to any of the named families.

General Notes, which explains the conventions I have used on dates, spelling of names and abbreviations. Also acknowledgement of those who have been particularly generous in supplying information and illustrations.

Contact is a page that enables you to contact me by e-mail.

Finally all illustrations are shown as thumbnails to speed loading of pages, clicking on a thumbnail will bring up the full-size image with its caption.


Maypole Farm, High Hurstwood, Sussex, home of Percy & Laura Muddle


Copyright © Derek Miller 2005-2016

Last updated 26 March 2016


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