Samuel Worthington and Mary Carver

The Worthington brothers, John and Samuel, arrived a generation later than the first rush of Quakers in 1682. There are no records of their parents in Pennsylvania; they probably came together as young men.1 Worthington is a common name in Lancashire and it is possible they came from there.2 John Worthington married Mary Walmsley in 1720 and had a large family. Samuel married four years later, declaring his intentions in early 1724 to marry Mary Carver.3 She was the daughter of William Carver and his second wife Mary.4 They were married under the care of Abington Monthly Meeting, which had jurisdiction over Friends who lived in Byberry.5

The Friends of Byberry had their own meeting for worship, held first at member’s houses, then in a log meeting house, finally in 1714 in a large stone meeting house with galleries upstairs.6 To transact business such as getting a marriage approved, they would travel to Abington Monthly Meeting, which initially rotated among the meetings at Frankfort (also called Oxford), Byberry and Abington. After 1710 all the monthly meetings were at the meeting house in Abington.7 The ride from Byberry to Abington Meeting was about ten miles, and would have been a hard one on the rough roads of the day.

For the first twelve years of their marriage, Samuel and Mary moved four times. They moved to Buckingham Meeting in 1726 and spent three years there before moving back to Byberry.8 In the spring of 1732 their house was burnt to the ground with all the household goods, always a hazard when wooden houses were lit by candles.9 Samuel and Mary moved their family to the Manor of Moreland, living as tenants there.10 Their servant man Malaci Garvi ran away and they advertised for his return.11 In 1736 they moved back to Buckingham, at the same time as William Carver Jr., Mary’s brother.12

Samuel and Mary were Quakers, members of several different meetings, but they did not live a blameless life as far as the Society was concerned. In late 1724, several months after their marriage, Abington meeting reported that they had been intimate before their marriage and they were forced to acknowledge the fault. The minutes reported that “Saml Worthington being Lately Married Amongst us Delivered a paper Relateing to his offence together with his wife touching their uncleanness with Each Other before marriage Signifying their sorrow for ye Same. Friends do Order that ye said Paper or a Coppy of ye Same be Publickly Read at Byberry Meeting upon a first Day.”13 After submitting this paper they remained in good standing, but their children did not marry as Friends.

Samuel died in 1775, living in New Britain, and leaving a will that named his wife and seven surviving children, as well as nephew Isaac Worthington.14 The witnesses were Joseph Carver, William Worthington and David Evans.15 The will provided that his beloved wife Mary should get the interest from the estate after the sale of the land. After her death the residual estate would be divided among sons Jonathan, David and Samuel. The date of her death is not known.

The inventory of Samuel’s estate was taken by David Evans and Thomas Goode. It included a riding mare and saddle, featherbeds, two Delft bowls and plates, a chest of drawers, a looking glass, chairs, some tobacco, a dough trough, brass kettle, pepper box, tin funnel and cream jug, chopping knife, a hat brush, an old water pot, a snuff bottle, two mares and their colts, three cows, a sow and seven pigs, four shoats, three hives with bees, grain in the garret, oats, buckwheat, bran, dried beef, smoked bacon and gammon, seven acres of green corn in the ground, and an old churn with some soap.16 The inventory was particularly interesting because it included the rooms of the house: the “room”, the kitchen, the stable and out house, the garret, and the cellar. There were two beds in the “room” and one in the garret, not a lot for two parents and seven children.

Children of Samuel and Mary:17 (The order is uncertain, based here mostly on dates of marriage. This is not the order that Samuel wrote in his will.)

Hester, m. about 1750 Anthony Kimble, son of Anthony and Matilda. After Hester died, he married a woman named Sarah. Anthony had thirteen children; it is not known how many of them were with Hester. Anthony died in 1796. In 1798 his widow Sarah (by then remarried) released her dower to a piece of land for  payment of £50.18

Jonathan, b. about 1737, d. 1801 in New Britain. Jonathan married first, Ann Wilson, widow of Daniel Knight. She died in 1775 and Jonathan married Charity Fell. After her death he married Mary Naylor Childs. He had children with Ann (Benjamin, David, Israel, James, Jonathan and Phebe) and with Mary (Zenas, Cephas, Jane, Macre, William). Jonathan died in 1801.19

David, alive in 1775. He is probably the David Worthington who married Sarah Williams in June 1768 at the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, lived in New Britain, and died in 1834, leaving heirs.20

Samuel, alive in 1775. He may have been the Samuel Worthington Jr whose servant Patrick Connor ran away in 1769.21 Samuel may have moved to Virginia.22

Rachel, married in 1765 John Rice, son of Edward and Elizabeth.23 In 2nd month 1759 Buckingham Meeting reported that Rachel Worthington was with child; is that this Rachel?  They were married by license dated August 1765.24 She is probably the Rachel Rice who wrote a will in 1816, naming children Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, Ann, James, Edward and John.25

Pleasant, around 1769 she married a man named Lapp or Delaps. She married contrary to Quaker rules and to a man who was not a Friend.26 In Samuel’s will she is called Pleasant Lapp; in a record of Buckingham Monthly Meeting disowning her for going out in marriage, it is Delaps. There was a German family of John Lapp living in New Britain around 1755 to 1760; did Pleasant marry one of John’s sons?27

Sarah, born about 1740, married in 1770 William Kimble, son of Anthony and Matilda. They lived in Buckingham, probably on land inherited from Matilda’s father Richard Morrey. Sarah and William had nine children. Children: Jonathan, Richard, Martha, John, Isaiah, William, Christopher, Sarah, Frances.28

  1. It is often said that they arrived in 1705 and settled first in Byberry. No records have been found for their arrival. (Joseph Martindale, History of the Townships of Byberry and Moreland, 1867)
  2. There are other Worthington families in Bucks County and Philadelphia at the time. Richard Worthington and his wife settled in Wrightstown and founded a large family. Daniel Worthington and his wife brought a certificate to Abington Monthly Meeting from Philadelphia in 1728. (Martindale) The descendants of Samuel Worthington were known as the “Plumstead Worthingtons” to distinguish them. (W. W. H. History of Bucks County, 1876)
  3. Abington Monthly Meeting Minutes, 25 3rd month 1724.
  4. Some sources claim that the younger Mary was the daughter of William and Joan Kinsey, his first wife, but she died about 1692, leaving only a daughter Sarah, and William remarried, to a woman whose last name is unknown. (After Mary died, William married again, to Grace Carter. He had one daughter with her, but most of his children were with Mary.)
  5. The meetings are shown on a map in James Bowden, History of the Society of Friends in America, Vol. II: Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 1854.
  6. Martindale; Isaac Comly, “Sketches of the History of Byberry”, in Memoirs of the Hist. Soc. Pa, Vol II, 1827; John and Isaac Comly, “History of Byberry Meeting”, Friends Miscellany, Vol. VII, 1835.
  7. Arthur and Ann Jenkins, A Short History of Abington Monthly Meeting, 1929; “Account of Abington Monthly Meeting”, Friends’ Miscellany, vol. 9, 1837, John and Isaac Comly (eds.)
  8. They brought a certificate from Abington to Buckingham Monthly Meeting, accepted on 1st 9th month 1726. In 10th month (December) 1729 Abington Monthly Meeting accepted a certificate from him from Buckingham Meeting. They must have been in transit that month, since in December 1729 Samuel was on a coroner’s jury to hear the death of Alexander Tomson, killed when felling a tree that fell “contrary-wise”. (PA Genealogical Magazine, vol. 35(3), 1988)
  9. Scott, Kenneth and Janet Clarke, Abstracts from the Pennsylvania Gazette 1748-1755, p. 284: 13 April 1732. “Samuel Worthington, of Byberry, Friday last his house was burnt to the ground.” The fuller text is on the webpage of Anne White, “The Worthingtons and allied families”,, accessed March 2020. Anne White gathered many Worthington records.
  10. Philadelphia County Landholders, 1734, online.
  11. Samuel advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette for February 1, 1733.
  12. Abington granted them a certificate on 26 2nd month 1736, “to recommend them to Friends at Buckingham”. William Carver Sr. died that year and left land in Byberry to his wife and son William; did the widow Grace Carter buy out the share of her stepson William Jr?
  13. 22 12th month (February) 1724/25, Abington Monthly Meeting Minutes. The record said 1724, but it must have happened after their marriage in 3rd month 1724.
  14. This bequest is the proof that Samuel was the brother of John Worthington of Byberry. The will was recorded in book 3, p. 406.
  15. Joseph was Mary’s nephew. He was married to a Worthington.
  16. Bucks County estate files #1460, inventory taken 17 March 1775.
  17. No birth dates have been found for them. They were probably born between 1724 and 1744.
  18. Bucks County Deeds, book 29, p. 449. There is no other Anthony in his generation. Many Ancestry trees show a death date of 1816 for Hester, but I can find no record that shows this.
  19. Research of John McKee, online at, accessed March 2020. The house that Jonathan built in 1768 is still standing in Doylestown.
  20. Presbyterian Church Records on Ancestry; Bucks County Orphans Court Record #4463 (book 8, p. 303; book 9, p. 80, 311)
  21. Runaway Servants, Convicts and Apprentices, 1728-1796, compiled by Farley Grubb.
  22. Ancestry trees, no evidence.
  23. Some researchers read this as Rue (starting with W. W. H. Davis), but the original will clearly shows Rice. And the marriage license shows his name as Rice.
  24. Compiled Pennsylvania Marriages, on Ancestry.
  25. Bucks County wills, Book 9.
  26. Buckingham MM minutes, 6th month 1769. Testimony was prepared against her.
  27. Davis, History of Bucks County; a John Lapp died in 1793. Was that Pleasant’s husband?
  28. The names were given in a Montgomery County Orphan’s Court record #10915, in a petition by Peter Tyson, husband of Martha Kimble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *