Adair Lydia Mudd–Addie, for short–was born on January 3, 1879 in Lockport, New York to Fawn and Mary Ann (Uffindale) Mudd. She had eight older siblings–Hattie Elizabeth (b. 1849); Alice Matilda (b. 1850); Sarah Frances (b. 1852); Thomas Fawn (b. 1854); Charles Josiah (b. 1860); Willis Wells (b. 1864); Frank Hilbert (b. 1868); and Irvin Henry (b. 1870)–and the family lived on a large farm in the nearby Town of Cambria. Adair is a name of English and Scottish origin, meaning “shallow place in a river near oaks;” after listing Adair and Fawn and Uffindale in an article in the Progressive Batavian, one reporter concluded with, “Adair, what a name!”
Addie’s mother, Mary Ann Uffindale, was born on April 29, 1832 in Cambridgeshire, England, and she moved to Canada with her parents as a young girl. That’s where she met Fawn Mudd (who was born on February 2, 1822, also in Cambridgeshire), and the couple were wed in 1848. They spent the first four years of their marriage in Canda before settling in Cambria, New York and purchasing farmland there; by the time Addie was born, the Mudd family had built a beautiful two-story brick home on the land and were able to hire others to help plant and harvest the crops each year.
At the age of 2, a brief entry in the local newspaper–as well as a note in the 1880 census–indicated that Addie had been “shot in the face with a pistol” but was “doing well.” She recovered in full (albeit with a noticeable scar), and other than this incident, she seems to have had a happy childhood full of love and security. It must have been lonely sometimes, though: Addie was the youngest in the family by far–there were nine years between Irvin and Addie and thirty years between Hattie and Addie, supposedly–and within a handful of years, all of her older siblings had started families of their own and had moved as far away as Astoria, Oregon.
In 1900, Addie was 21 years old and living at home with her parents and a young man named Ernest Miller, their neighbor’s 23-year-old son who had been hired as a farmhand for the season. Two years later, on April 2, 1902, Ernest and Addie were married in Lockport, New York. I don’t know how long Ernest lived with the Mudd family and worked as a farmhand; I don’t know if Ernest and Addie ever fell in love; and I don’t know why they decided to marry or where they resided after. It was a short marriage, as well: less than a year later, on February 16, 1903, Addie passed away at the age of 24. I don’t even know how she died, and it’s disheartening to be unable to share more details about her life.
How am I related to Addie? Well, as it turns out, I’m really not; I’m actually the great-great-granddaughter of Ernest and his second wife, Anna Maria Auguste Bluhm. To my knowledge, no one on my side of the family has ever known about or mentioned Addie Mudd, though, and it’s chance that I happened upon her name and story. I was searching for anyone with the surname “Miller” who was living in Cambria in 1900, and I was surprised to find my great-great-grandfather working as a farm laborer and boarding in another family’s home. This is my feeble attempt to keep Addie’s memory alive; I hope, too, that a cousin might reach out with more of the story to share someday.
Adair. What a beautiful name, indeed.