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.

Hints to solve another Mystery

September 7, 2015

For years, I have seen references to Samuel Worthington, brother of Capt. John Worthington (1650-1701). But have always lost him in Somerset County, Maryland. Other Worthington researchers have not been able to find any descendants.

In the past couple of Blog posts, I have mentioned that I was looking in the State of Maryland Archives website. I think that I found out why.

GRATED: by 1689, as a free adult.

RESIDED: in Somerset Parish, Somerset County.

FAMILY BACK-GROUND. Possibly related to John Worthington (1650-1701). MARRIED Alice (?-1739/40), daughter of Arnold Elzey, Gent., (?-1733), a justice
of Somerset County, 1693-1699, 1702-1709, and
wife Major Waller. Her brothers were John (1693-
?), who married Anne Catherwood; and Arnold
(1695-?). Her sisters were Sarah (1683-1753);
Elizabeth; Major (1685-?); and Anne (1686-?),
who married first, Robert Catherwood (?-1715),
and second, by 1718, William Stoughton (1692-
1759). Alice married second, Merrick Ellis (?-
1732) of Somerset County.

CHILDREN. Probably died without progeny.

A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al. Volume 426, Page 915

pile of old bricks

I have some follow up to do on this, to see if I can verify what is in this article, so I have a few more bricks to move out of the way to make sure I haven’t miss anything coming forward in time.

Now, I have to go back to the other side of the pond to see if I can find John AND Samuel with their parents.


Image courtesy of GenealogyInTime Magazine http://www.genealogyintime.com – See more at: http://www.genealogyintime.com/GenealogyResources/Wallpaper/free-images.html#sthash.Oke9zsXD.dpuf

Getting Closer RE: Capt John

September 6, 2015

Still looking at the Maryland Archives, identified a number of records whenever I get back down there when I ran across, what may be, THE record I was looking for.


or how about this


Of note, the Marke Cordes mentioned above was also mentioned in the English property transaction in my earlier blog post.

Now to figure out what the document really means.

Was he, or Was he NOT an Indentured Servant?

September 6, 2015

I hope that I have someone to take a look for Capt. John Worthington (1650-1701) in some records, at the Maryland Archives. The long told story is that he came from England in the mid to late 1600’s, probably around 1675. Further, the story was that he was an Indentured Servant of “Lord Baltimore”.

Over the past couple of days, I have been trying to understand WHICH Lord Baltimore, as there may be as many as 7, and when “he” would have crossed the pond, bringing the lad John Worthington.

That was one mistake. The mistake being that John Worthington was “on the boat” with ”Lord Baltimore”. The second mistake was what an Indentured Servant really was. Mistake number two. What I currently understand that term to mean is that someone PAID for the passage of “the indentured servant”.

When of realized those two mistakes, I think I have determined which “Lord Baltimore” paid for his passage. Charles Calvert, the 3rd Barron Baltimore was in Maryland, in 1675. Right “title”, time, and place. Now to find a record of that, and my research says there will be records.

As I have learned in the resent past, and currently teach, BEFORE you visit an Archive, see what that have Online. I did and the Maryland Archives have a number of volumes with Legislative Proceedings on this topic. Haven’t found what I was looking for yet, BUT, I did find this.


A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al. Volume 426, Page 913

A nice profile for Capt. John. My new conflicting information is high lighted. 1678 or 1679 as a FREE Adult.

The full article has too many “probably” statements, I get that, but there are even more questions that come up. His parents names are OK, but later on, there is mention of Samuel Worthington that is “possibly” related to John.

Samuel has a profile as well, but he disappears from records within a generations, I have known about Samuel before and have looked, and he disappears.

Not at all comfortable about this new information.

However, in the profile is mention of a Land Transaction in England 01 February 1676/77 which will be my next “Bright Shiny Object”.

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.

DearMYRTLE’s DocuChallenge

November 2, 2014
DocuChallenge: Phillips, William D

We were presented with an image from Fold3.com to do the following:

Let’s answer these questions:

  1. What is this document?
  2. How would you describe the physical appearance of this document?
  3. What does this document say about Ol’ Myrt’s ancestor?
  4. What other people are mentioned in this document?
  5. What information items do you find most reliable in this document?
  6. What information items do you find less reliable in this document?
  7. What value is this document without a citation indicating provenance?
  8. Can you craft a citation for this document?
  9. What would you do with this digital document?
  10. What other record groups should Ol’ Myrt consider after analyzing this document?

This is a Civil War Pension card. We are looking at a digital image of that card.

I transcribed it:

Name of Soldier: Phillips, William H
Service: Last Rank P, Co K, 19 Reg, Ind Inf
Term of Service: Enlisted [ no date ] Discharged [ no date ]
Date of Filing 1880 June 7
Class: Invalid, Application number 376,996, Certificate No 243,464

Date of Filing 1921 Mar 12
Widow 1,171,114, 8-1-20, 907389

Additional Service A 17 V.R.C.
Died Fed 21 1921, Knoxville, Iowa

“Civil War Pensions; Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900”, digital image, The National Archives (http://www.fold3.com : accessed 31 October 2014); entry for William H Phillips (Co K, 19 Reg, Ind Inf); citing: Civil War Pensions, Pension applications for service in the US Army between 1861 and 1900, grouped according to the units in which the veterans served; NARA T289. no roll number cited.

The first thing I noticed was William H vs William D. Wonder if +DearMYRTLE gave that to us as a hint.

The Soldier, William H Phillips had died:

What this told me was the soldier’s name was William H Phillips and that he was married and left a widow. He was a Private, in Company K, of the 19th Regiment, Indiana Infantry. He Died 1/21/1921 in Knoxville, Iowa, and his widow filed for the pension 3/12/1921.

So far, the information appears to be OK, but….

One thing that caught my eye was the Term of Service, there we no dates. So, I searched to see if there were any Civil War Service Records for William H Phillips that fit the information I had so far.

There was no indication in the Civil War Service Index – Union – Indiana for him, but there were 7 entries, none this William H. The question so far is, Did he serve and when did he serve? Not sure what the A 17 V.R.C. means, yet.

I have been looking at Civil War Records on Ancestry.com, and where I would normally go from what I have so far, would see IF I can find HER pension file. And I found her pension at: U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 for William H Phillips. The numbers matched exactly, as I have seen before. It’s a different card, but should have the same numbers and certificate number. It did. The widow’s name is Louisa Phillips. She filed for the pension in Iowa, where he had died.

That A 17 V.R.C. is also on this pension record. Two documents with the same information.

My next stop was to see IF I could find any more information on the 19th Indiana Infantry Regiment, as I had a hint something was coming. So I went to Wikipedia.


Having been on a brief Civil War research trip with our spouses, I took this picture at Gettysburg in May.


The Iron Brigade. I knew there had to be a connection. BUT, I took my next step to see what else I could find out about the 19th.

Before I take my next step in research, I need to mention that the Iron Brigade was involved, in Gettysburg, on Culp’s Hill on 3 July. I also had a Confederate soldier, Ridgely Howard, in that SAME battle and he was wounded in the thigh at Culps Hill. Not in the same part of the battle, DearMYRTLE’s soldier was at the other end of that battle, as there are monuments placed where the units were fighting. Pieces of David Ridgely Howard’s story is in a PBS film on Gettysburg.


This is the monument for the 1st Maryland.

Back to my research I found this website:


The kicker for this research, for this DocuChallenge is in the LAST Line on the 19th’s service information:

Weldon R. R. August 18-21”

In William Henry Phillips Find-A-Grave memorial, Find A Greave Memorial #58768920, DearMYRTLE published the details of his pension files, that he served through 1864. So, Was HE, William Henry Phillips, at Weldron R.R. in that battle?

MY Ridgely Howard was wounded for the 2nd time at THAT battle. This time, “wounded in action – upper portion of right thigh, amputated.

David Ridgely Howard lived until 23 December 1927 and is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.



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