What does Indenture really mean?

September 7, 2015

Over the past several days, I have been talking about Capt. John Worthington (1650-1701) and have used the term Indentured Servant a number of times.

I went to the Maryland State Archives website and did a search for Indentured Servant. Knowing that I might find some results with either one of those two words, as I didn’t put them in quotes.

I found a result that had “John Worthington” and “indenture” in it. Reading the article, that was already transcribed AND the Image a click away, it had some information that fit with other information I already had. BUT, I couldn’t understand what it was really saying. I know it was a Legal Document and that it had something to do with a Land Record.

So, what do I do, I send an email to +Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist, to get some clarification on what I was looking at.


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Stepping back a minute, I had done research on that Indentured Servant topic before and found a Wikipedia Article on the topic.


Oh, I am looking for a record like the one on the WikiPedia webpage for Capt. John.

That web page is what was in my mind when I read this article from the Archives and tried to share my question with The Legal Genealogist. I was expecting the usual “it depends” answer. Not this time.

Ahhh. No, the word had other meanings, and in particular:

In old conveyancing, if a deed was made by more parties than one, it was usual to make as many copies of it as there were parties, and each was cut or indented (either in acute angles, like the teeth of a saw, or in a waving line) at the top or side, to tally or correspond with the others, and the deed so made was called an “indenture.” Anciently, both parts were written on the same piece of parchment, with some word or letters written between them through which the parchment was cut, but afterwards, the word or letters being omitted, indenting came into use, the idea of which was that the genuineness of each part might be proved by its fitting into the angles cut in the other. But at length even this was discontinued, and at present the term serves only to give name to the species of deed executed by two or more parties…

Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law (St. Paul, Minn. : West, 1891), 614, “indent.”

The article that I found, isn’t what I was looking for, but I have added a few new names to my Capt. John FAN club (Friends or Family, And, Neighbors). One of the names I had seen before, the other two I hadn’t. One in England the other in Maryland.

AND it puts Capt. John still in England in 1676 or 1677, about where I expected to find him there, “of Manchester in the County of Lancaster in the Kingdome of England” and the property “neere” Ashton.

Lesson Learned: I need to keep remembering to put the terms that I might find in a document into historical context and don’t forget the Law at the time and place.

I just find it very interesting that a 17 year old lad, would be part of a Land Transaction.

My sincere thanks to Judy G. Russell for her awesome responses to my questions. And she was so kind to allow my to share this with you. Thank you!!!


Manchester is where it is reported that he lived, Ashton-under-Lyne (current name) is where the property was, and Failsworth is where there is another reference to Capt. John and other Worthington’s. A whole book has been about that Worthington family.

Maryland, Wills and Probate Records–Capt John

September 2, 2015

Just spent the last hour looking at a new record on Ancestry.com


I believe this is the Last Will for Capt. John Worthington (1650 – 1701). It will take a while to transcribe it, but I am certain that it is him.

This document was created in 1699 and it had all of the right children, known at that point, references to other extended members indicating property Capt. John owned. The plantation, on the Severn River was mentioned,

At first, I wasn’t sure, the way that the information was presented on the screen, but reading (what I could) it’s his.

I had a date in my file for when the will was Proved. The date was the same, the year was not, but I think the information I had may have been in error.

Two children weren’t listed, be that was because they were born after the will was written, one of those children died very young, the second carried the name of that baby, and was Charles from whom I descend.

Yesterday I spent a while trying to make the Pendennis connection, the plantation and the castle, so I see a trip to Annapolis, Maryland in my future. Just not seeing any hint as to why Capt. John would name his plantation Pendennis. But, did HE name it or when what his plantation named. Property had names, which the will pointed out and I have other records of, but why Pendennis. Why would at “young lad”, that is Capt. John have that name linked to him.

The Pendennis Castle was involved in a siege in 1646. King Charles I was the King at the time (trying to confirm that), and there was a John Arundel (1576 – 1654) tied to the castle. Arundel being the county, in Maryland, where Capt. John lived.

Thank you Ancestry.com for this new Record Collection. It should keep me busy for a while.

What’s in a Name ? Pendennis

August 31, 2015

A couple of days ago, I was re-organizing some of my genealogy photographs and was reminded of Pendennis Mount across the Severn River from Annapolis in Maryland. This is the photo that I took, Pendennis Mount on the Severn.


It is the name of the plantation that Captain John Worthington (1650-1701) owned. At the bottom of the Mount, is the Maryland War Memorial.


I have been there a number of times, including where Capt. John and his family were initially buried until he and his household were re-interred in the Saint Anne’s Anglican Church in Annapolis.


A photo of a few of his descendants who visited here in September 2000.


In reviewing these photos, I thought I would find the Website I had found earlier on Pendennis to see what I could find. When I had looked earlier (couple of years ago), the location of Pendennis was out of place from where I expected to find it, based on the time, place, and “paper trail” for Capt. John.

When I did a Google Search I found this website:


I knew there were Worthingtons in Falmouth, but the location through me off, so I didn’t pursue it. It being Why Did Capt John name his plantation “Pendennis”? The website, English Heritage had a guide book for Pendennis Castle, so I ordered it. Today, it came in the mail.

Maybe, just maybe, this Bright Shining Object (BSO) will lead to the answer to my question. While looking into this, I will not forget my DNA issue.

Who knows, maybe one of my U.K. Google+ or Blog followers will have some insight on this place. This castle, at least my understanding at the moment, is over 400 years old, well before Capt. John was born.

One Brick Wall is now dust

May 30, 2013

Well OK, it’s down, but it’s still a bit dusty. I have a little clean up work to do.

Earlier this year, I was in Salt Lake City and had a chance to visit the Family History Library. I had not planned the visit, wasn’t really going to spend too much time researching, but since some other GeneaBloggers were there, I went over too.

I posted a Blog: Who is Capt John Worthingtons Father

I had hints from that trip, have talked about how I am using Evidentia to work on this brick wall: Initial Proof Report:

Today, I received a long awaited letter with source material that was behind the Pedigree Charts that I talked about in the Evidentia series. I had seen a code ITEM PR2 listed several times in the various documents I have seen over the years, but didn’t have a cross reference to what that was. Actually, I did have it in my archives, in about 500 pages of reference material.

In the Item PR2 (Parish Record #2) was this bit of information.

References  “English Parish Records: Lancashire (Salford & West Derby Hundreds), Cheshire, Flintshire” – CD produced by Ancestry.com “from parish records and similar sources” for all 1600-1615 details, “The Registers of the Cathedral Church of Manchester, 1573-1653”, Lancashire Parish Register Society (LPRS), Volume 31, for all 1616-1653 details and “International Genealogical Index” (IGI), Batches P005461 and C005462 (Baptisms 1654-1699) and Batch M005462 (Marriages 1665-1699).

CD produced by whom? I have seen that before, in fact, had blogged about it. Day One–Searching in Lancashire, England

It wasn’t the same location in England, but I wondered IF the information in Item PR2 was also online. Well it was. Here is the parish register entry for Francis Worthington and Sarah Byrom(e)’s wedding.



Not stopping here, because in the notes for “Item PR2” was this.

Reference 17C, Vol 2, Item PR2: Notes by Stuart G Worthington (1) This entry is misleading and incorrect! The marriage of “Franches Worthington et Sara Byrom” actually took place at St. Mary the Virgin’s Church, Prestwich, on 15 September 1646, as shown in such church’s Marriage Register – see ITEM PR32. No doubt, the marriage was “recorded’ in Manchester, because Francis, like his parents, lived there: in ‘recording’ this union, the name Sarah Browne was was erroneously entered in the Collegiate Church’s Marriage Register instead of Sarah Byrom. This error accounts for several American websites stating that Francis married Sarah Browne. 1

This is going to be interesting. But clearly, the author of this article, Stuart G Worthington, had done his homework and has shared that with other Worthington researchers. Can’t wait to get this new information into Evidentia.

But, I still had an issue. Collegiate Church, Manchester, Lancashire, England, and the name of the church in the Ancestry.com website of St Mary, St Denys and St George, Manchester, Lancashire, England. So, I did a google search for St Mary, St Denys and St George and found this website.


Oh, the PR2 had about 75 Worthington Baptisms between 1600 and 1699, similar number of Marriages between 1600 and 1699 (excluding 1654-1664) and Burials between 1600 and 1653). Almost 4 pages of typed names. No wonder I couldn’t determine who Capt John’s parents were. 4 pages of Worthington’s had an event that took place in the 17th century.

In the Frederick Adams Virkus, Immigrant Ancestors2, it mentioned a brother, Samuel Worthington, that arrived with Capt John to Maryland. I have not found him or anyone close to him in the records. Still looking for that one.


1 Stuart G Worthington, “Register of Worthington References:  17 Century – Volume 2”, Collegiate Church, Manchester, Lancashire PR2 (31 July 2007):  p 39 – 43, English Parish Records; Lancashire (Salford & West Derby Hundreds), Cheshire, Flintshire. 15 Sep 1646 Francis Worthington / Sarah Browne (1)

2Frederick Adams Virkus, Immigrant Ancestors:  A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750  (1942; Reprinted, Baltimore:  Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976); Page 75; Worthington, Capt. John; Family History Library, 35 North West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah.

Day One–Searching in Lancashire, England

April 26, 2013

I posted Where do I Start? and thought I would follow up on that post.

Actually, the report really helped. I stayed focused on that list and did an online search at Ancestry.com. I worked on the first 16 people on my list (males), and actually found 4 records in an Anglican Parish. So, my early guesses were close.

Of interest, one of the results gave me conflicting information. Below is the image in question.


Anglican Parish Registers (Lancashire, England), Lancashire, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials (1573-1812), Burial Record for Edward Worthington, buried 08 May 1629, image 259, accessed 25 Apr 2013; digital images, Ancestry.com.

The conflict is that there are two people, in the Pedigree Chart, Edward Worthington, and the chart said that they died “1629”. So, which Edward Worthington is this record for?

I am guessing that solely looking at Church Records may present miss leading information. Without any indication of relationships or other information, may lead us to incorrect conclusions.

What I did was to enter the SAME record to both people, with a citation, but marked a To Do List task, to resolve this conflict.  I also send an email to the project coordinator for additional help, as they have information that I do not have.

Bottom line here, the GenDective report has been very helpful.

Where do I Start?

April 24, 2013

Continuing my research for this “ancient” family line, where should I start to look?

The first record that I found was a marriage record in an Anglican Parish in Manchester, Lancashire, England. The Record group covered 1573-1812. Perhaps there are other records that I might find there, since the collection was for Baptism, Marriage, and Burial’s from that parish.

Back to GenDective­™. In GenDective Reporter, there is a listing for “Which reports help with my research efforts?” That sounds like what I am looking for.



Clicking on the “+” sign, I see a report that might be helpful. Families who lived in state.

I selected ALL “Degree of family kinship”, Country is England, and State, territory or region, I selected Lancashire and clicked on Generate Report.



This generated a report of 30 people who had an event in Lancashire. Looking at the report, which included Dates, I might find any one or all of them in that area of England.


So far, with that first “hint” there have been not helpful hints. Because I have so few dates, the hints are not “my person”. So back to Ancestry.com AND FamilySearch.org, as they have Church Records from that area in that time frame. But, at least I can focus on this group of people (30).

Marriage Record for George Worthington and Elizabeth Sandiford 11 Jun 1663

April 15, 2013

From a hint, on Ancestry.com, I found a marriage record for George Worthington and Elizabeth Sandiford and their marriage of 11 jun 1663 in Manchester, St Mary, St Denys and St George, Lancashire England.  All I started with was that George had died between 1669 and 1670. Elizabeth (Sandiford) Worthington was still living in 1669 and that they had been married about 1663. That hint took me to the IMAGE of that record.

FB2-Worthington_George-Marriage Image 1


Here they are on 11 June 1663

FB2-Worthington_George-Marriage Image 2


Never thought I would see these documents from England. Thank you Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com, Manchester, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1573-1812 (Cathedral) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), http://www.ancestry.com, Database online.

More on this project later.


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