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Peter Worden I

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Peter Worden I aka Werden, Warden, Worthen
Born about in Clayton, Lancashire, Englandmap
Husband of — married about in Englandmap
Died in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusettsmap
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Categories: Gateway Ancestors | Puritan Great Migration | Magna Carta.

The Puritan Great Migration.
This person was part of the Puritan Great Migration.
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Wikimedia image This person is a descendant of a Magna Carta surety baron.
If you are interested in this profile,
please check out the Magna Carta Project!



He was NOT married to Ann (Ffaingten) Worden. "Ann Ffaington" is a misplaced corruption of the wife of Peter's great-grandfather Roger Worden, whose name was Ann Farrington.


PETER I WORDEN (ROBERT, WILLIAM) was born about 1576 in Clayton [now Clayton-le-Woods], Lancashire Co., England. He died in 1638 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA.[1]

Peter WORDEN I (also spelled WERDEN, WARDEN, WORTHEN) was the immigrant ancestor of this line of WORDENS in America. Peter I settled in Yarmouth, MA. and is probably the "old Worden" mentioned in a list of Yarmouth inhabitants on 7 Jan. 1638/39.[2]

During the period 1609 to 1613 Peter Werden, gent., appeared as a juror at nine inquisitions.[3].

Peter was probably a textile merchant and leased from the town of Preston Lancashire,England, a shop and stall in the Moothall being on the ground floor under the Council chamber in the center of Preston.[4]

Peter Worden was listed as "Gentleman" in several documents, and he was a member of the Town Council of Preston, Lancashire, England, which is located about five miles from Clayton. He was a "Foreign (outsider) Burgess" in Preston, and he leased a shop in the Guild hall, located next to the Preston Market Place, on 01 October 1617. He was last recorded in Preston on 21 January 1629, when, according to the early archives of Preston Borough, he loaned 8 shillings to the Borough for a project concerned with common lands.

In 1630 the Plague, which had already ravaged London, struck Preston, and 1069 people out of a population of 3000 died within the year. Peter Worden, his son, and their families probably left Preston because of the plague, as did many of the other survivors, because he next appears in the American Colonies in the mid 1630s. He was probably one of those who came "On Their Perticulers" (not belonging to any general group of emigrants from England sharing a common sectarian religion--such as the Pilgrims.)

Peter Senior, came to Plymouth Colony, was the first white settler to die there, in 1639 and probably came on the ship "Little James" in 1624. His estate included land in the town of Clayton, Lancaster, England, as well as his Yarmouth land. Peter Senior settled, possibly by 1636, in what is now East Dennis on north side of 6A opposite #1855. He may have originally settled Yarmouth without official permission, so basically a squatter.[5]

It is believed that Peter Worden was first in Lynn, Massachusetts before moving to Yarmouth in 1639. In The History of Old Yarmouth, by Charles F. Swift, is the following: "At the extreme easterly part of the Town, Peter Worden [sic] the elder and younger have established themselves, in spite of the opposition of some of their associates, and here the former died the first year of settlement."

In 1662 [?date?] Peter was entered in the Guild Rolls, a foreign Burgess.[6]

About 1628 Peter had taken the office of County Aulnager (or Alnager) "an officer in a port or market town responsible for ensuring that all cloth sold was woven in the correct length & width laid down by statute (standards).[7]


PETER I married MARGARET GRICE, daughter of THOMAS GRICE and ALICE, about 1603/1604 in England.[8]. Margaret was born about 1568/1572.[9]. She died in 1612 in England.[10]

They had the following children:[11]

  • i.ELIZABETH WORDEN was born about 1605 in England. She died about 1635. ELIZABETH married HUGH SWANSEY about 1630. Hugh was born in 1607.
  • ii.BRIDGET WORDEN was born about 1607 in England. She died on 19 Nov 1628 in England and was buried in Preston Parish Ch Ae Abt 21.[12]
  • iii.PETER II WORDEN was born about 1609 and died on 11 Jan 1680.


Peter Worden's will was probated on 05 March 1639. It is the first will printed in the Plymouth Court Records. A copy of the will remains in the Barnstable Probate Court. In his will Peter Worden left most of his real and personal property in both England and America to his son, Peter Worden. Both he and his son are buried in the Worden Cemetery, overlooking Cape Cod Bay. The cemetery is located on the south side of Route 6A in the Town of Dennis near the border of the Town of Brewster. Directly across Route 6A, in a pasture, is a small foundation said to be from the house of the elder Peter Worden. The barn in the pasture is said to be built on the original foundation of the house of his son, Peter Worden.

The Last Will and Testament of Peter WORDEN of Yarmouth ye elder, deceased, proved at ye General Court held at Plymouth, the fifth day of March in ye XIIIth year of ye reign of our sovereign Lord Charles, King of England AC1638, by ye oathes of Mr. Nicholas Sympkins, Hugh Tillie & Giles Hopkins as followith, viz "Be it known unto all men to whome this doth or may concern, that I, Peter Worden, of Yarmouth in New England, in Plymouth Patten, being very sick, in this Year of Our Lord 1638 and on ye ninth day of February, do make my last will to testify unto all that I Peter Worden, do give and bequeath unto Peter Worden, my only sonne, and sonne and heir, and in the presense of Nicholas Sympkins Hugh Tillie and Giles Hopkins, I do make him my whole executor to whom I do give all my lands, leases & tenaments with goods movable and unmovable in the Town of Clayton in the County of Lankcester, Likewise I do give unto Peter my son all my goods which I have at this present in New England. My will is my son is to give John Lewis one nate goat, also my will is my son is to give my grandchild such money as is due for the keeping of goats and calves until this day and that my son is with the money to buy a kid or dispose it otherwise for his use. Also one bed or bolster, three blankets, also my son is to have the tuition of my grandchild until he be at the age of one and twenty years of age, also my will is he shall find him with meat, drink, and clothes and at the three last years of the twenty one years also to have forty shillings the years after and above , for to add to his stock with the sow pig when the sow pigs - s/Peter WORDEN 1/s.[13]


Both Peter Senior and his son are buried in the Worden Cemetery, overlooking Cape Cod Bay. The cemetery is located on the south side of Route 6A in the Town of Dennis near the border of the Town of Brewster. Directly across Route 6A, in a pasture, is a small foundation said to be from the house of the elder Peter Worden. The barn in the pasture is said to be built on the original foundation of the house of his son, Peter Worden.


Descends from four Magna Carta Sureties: Robert de Ros, Richard de Clare, Saher de Quincy, William de Mowbray.
Source: #S294
Page: Vol. XXVI, Issue No. 2, August 2006
Note: John Schuerman, author
Entered in the Guild Rolls with his brothers 1582 and 1602, in 1622 in his own right. Since 1542, the Wordens had been entered in the Preston Guild Rolls as outburgesses.
Page: p. 97
Per British National Archives:
DDKE/3/30 3 Aug. & 8 Oct. 1607. These documents are held at Lancashire Record Office
Writ of elegit and inquisition: Peter Werden and Margaret his wife, widow of Anthony Wale, v. Anthony Barton - for £14 7s. in payment of dower of Margaret Werden's in one burgage and four acres of land in Preston, formerly occupied by Anthony Wale"
Page: Click here
The search has changed at the National Archives. The following appears to be the current web location: Click here
"PLAINTIFF: Richard Werden of Preston, mercer; William Addison of Preston, yeoman, executors of Thomas Addison of Preston, deceased DEFENDANT: Leissaugh O'Connor of Staining, esquire, and Mary his wife; Peter Werden and Mary his wife PLACE: Preston; Staining
Date: 1609
Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives"
Palatinate of Lancaster: Chancery Court: Pleadings... PL 6/1/114


Note: Several lines have been proven through the use of DNA testing
See: Worden @ FamilyTreeDNA


  1. 7 Plymouth MA Probate (PR): Vol l, part #1,33
  2. 8 Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. I:109
  3. 9 Wordens Past 994, 1029 & 1038 and later articles hereinafter WP
  4. 10 WP:13:2:897
  6. 11 Ibid
  7. 12 Ibid
  8. 13 WP, May 1992, 834-837
  9. 14 Ibid
  10. 15 Ibid
  11. 16 WP Aug. 1992 858,862
  12. 17 WP Nov. 1992 #2:887
  13. 18 Plymouth Probate Vol.1: Fol. 33

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On July 14, 2014 at 20:26GMT Tom Worden wrote:

Worden-3 has a son listed as private son (1600 - 1680's). I am confident that this son is Worden-2 Peter Worden II.

Worden-2 listing says his father is Worden-3, but Worden-3 doesn't list Worden-2 as his son.

On May 10, 2014 at 16:45GMT Doris Muller wrote:

There is no proof that Ann Ffarington ever m. Peter Worden I b. 1576. This link should be removed.

On May 10, 2014 at 04:15GMT John Schmeeckle wrote:

For whatever it's worth, here is Peter Worden's claimed royal ancestry, based on Gary Boyd Robert's book:

On May 9, 2014 at 20:50GMT Doris Muller wrote:

There were two Peter Wordens who came to America. This one - Worden-160 - has been wrongly merged with Worden-3. Worden-3 did not marry Ffarington. That is a myth that proliferates on the web but has never been proven. Please see the For careful and thorough research.

On May 9, 2014 at 00:11GMT Doris Muller wrote:

Worden-3 and Worden-600 do not represent the same person because: Worden-601 is an amalgam of two entirely different Peter Wordens. Part of the bio does belong to Worden-3, but much of it belongs to a different Peter whose origins have not been confirmed even to belong to the Worden-3 line, although they are suspected to be cousins. Please see the Worden Family Assn. for the best current information.

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