William Worth

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ChartsAncestors of Jennie Luene Logan
William Worth, son of John Worth and Barbara Strong, was born probably shortly before his baptism at St Andrews Parish, Plymouth, Devon, England, 25 February 1642.1 He died at Nantucket Co., Massachusetts, 10 January 1723/24.2

William married (1) Sarah Macy, daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott, at Nantucket, Nantucket Co., Massachusetts, 11 April 1665;3,4,5 he married (2) Damaris Sibley, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), 3 July 1703.3

William was born in England and came to Nantucket as a "Half Share" man in 1662 to pursue the occupation of a sailor. It is not clear, but this may have been a sail maker. His subsequent activities seem to preclude any oceanic activites.

To understand what a "half share" meant:
The First Purchasers of Nantucket consisted of nine men with Thomas Mayhew retainng a part. He had bought the Island in 1641 from Lord Sterling. All of the Island except one-twentieth he sold in 1659 to the Purchasers. Each of these Purchasers was allowed a partner or associate to be added to the original proprietor list, and ten other men were selected as "half-share" men, chosen on the basis of an occupation or talent that was deemed a necessary component of a successful settlement. Ultimately fourteen half-shares were issued. . . .

Additional shares were granted between 1659 and 1667, and finally totaled 27 shares held by 20 men. William was eventually granted a full share.

His contract with the town was made 20 July 1662:
These present do witness that we whose names are underwritten do give and grant unto William Worth sailor half a share of Land and meadow wood and Tiumber and all manner of privleges and appurtenances thereunto belonging upon the Island of Nantucket both house and Lot and other Division of land, meadow, wood, Timber and Commonage we say half as much as any one of the Twenty first purchasers have both in plantation and patent Right to him aforesaid William Worth, his heirs and assigns, forever upon Conditions that he pay his proportion of all charges of purchasing of the pattent and Indian right and all necessary concerning English rights and also to come and Dwell on the Island and to Imploy himself or be Imployed on sea affairs for himself or such person or persons as are inhabiting on the Island or any of the purchasers at such seasons as are Convenient and for such hire as they shalll agree on which shall be according to Reason and not to leave the Island for three years time after date hereof.

He was quite active in Nantucket affairs having been five times chosen a Selectman, three times an Assistant Magistrate, four times Assessor, and for many years Clerk of the Court. The earliest vital records in the town are in his hand writing and a large number of marriages were solemnized by him as marriage was for many years a civil and not a religious contract. He was assigned with Edward Starbuck to build a pair of millstones, testified for the Indians in a suit concerning a drift whale (the treaty gave the Indians the rights to the whales that washed ashore). The Island also suffered constant political turmoil, and William was always in the thick of it. Besides his maritime and civic duties, he was a blacksmith.

The Worth homestead was on the east end of the Island near No-Bottom Pond and appears to have included a fishing house on Aquinet point.6,4,7

William left a will dated 6 February 1719/20, and proved 11 Nov 1724 specifying:
To beloved wife Damaris Worth the third part of my estate in the same manner as the law would have given it unto her if I had died Intestate beside which I also give her the furniture standing in and belonging to the lower west room of my Dwelling house and the great Iron pot and middle brass kettle the bed pan and close stool and the term yet to come and unexpired that I have in my servant William Piercy and twenty pounds in money or bills of credit to be paid within two years after my decease by my executor hereafter named I do likewise give her all the debts due unto me by anyways or means whatsoever.

Item I give a Silver cup unto my wife

All the residue of my estate I give and devise unto my son John Worth and after his mothers term therin is expired the whole of what kind or nature soever to him and his heirs oforever and my will and mind is that my son John Worth Shall faithfully divide set out and deliver unto his mother in laws her part of my estate to her given in the best and most convenient manner he may or can

Lastly I make my son John Worth sole executor of this my last will and testament . . .8

Family 1

Sarah Macy b. 1 Aug 1646, d. 1701

Family 2

Damaris Sibley b. abt. 1670, d. 2 Apr 1745
This person was last edited on15 Dec 2017


  1. [S1284] William Jessup Cleaver, The Ancestry of Allen Grinnell Cleaver and Martha Irene Jessup (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 1989), 947, further cited as Cleaver, Ancestry of Cleaver and Jessup.
  2. [S1163] Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, five vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1925-28), 5:620, further cited as Vital Records of Nantucket.
  3. [S1163] Vital Records of Nantucket, 3:532.
  4. [S35] Alexander Starbuck, The History of Nantucket (Boston, Massachusetts: C.E. Goodspeed, 1924), 825, further cited as Starbuck, History of Nantucket.
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1723, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S3] Charles Edward Banks, The History of Martha's Vineyard Dukes County Massachusetts in Three Volumes (subtitle varies) (1911; reprint, Edgartown, Massachusetts: Dukes County Historical Society, 1966), 3:115, further cited as Banks, History of Martha's Vineyard.
  7. [S1284] Cleaver, Ancestry of Cleaver and Jessup, 947-949.
  8. [S1195] Nantucket County Courthouse, Nantucket, Massachusetts, Probate Records, 1706-1867, 1:115-6, FHL microfilm 906832, further cited as Nantucket Probate Records.
  9. [S1195] Nantucket Probate Records, 1:115-116; FHL #906832.
  10. [S1163] Vital Records of Nantucket, 2:629.