Peter Worden

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Peter Worden, son of Peter Worden and Margaret Grice, was born at England, in 1609.1 He died at Plymouth Co., Massachusetts, before 20 January 1680/81, the date of his inventory.1

Peter married Mary (…) at England say 1635.1,2

First of record in the Guild Roll of Preston, Lancashire, England in 1622, Peter Worden immigrated with his father in the late 1630's to Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony, when he is named in his father's will, 9 Feb 1638/9. He is in an undated list (but probably made about 1639) of those "Of Yarmouth that have taken the Oath of Fidellyte." Among others are included the three witnesses to his father's will, Nicholas Simpkins, Hugh Tillie alias Hillier, & Giles Hopkins.

On 2 Jun 1640, Nicholas Symkins, Peter Worden and William Chase were granted a warrant to attach and divide the goods of Phillips Woodall, left in care of Nicholas, but Woodall had "deptd the goument some tyme since" indebted to them and others. The three were charged to "make satisfaccon so farr as the said goods will extend, to themselves and others."

At Yarmouth in August 1643, Peter Worden, Hugh Tilly, and 50 others were on a list of all the males between 16 to 60 years of age, able to bear arms. The inhabitants throughout the colony were directed "to provide a place of defence against sudden assault."

In 1644, his homestead was plotted on a map of Yarmouth along with those of 20 other families and the meeting house.

An unnamed daughter is recorded as born 10 Feb 1643/4.

There were numerous squabbles about land ownership at Yarmouth, and Capt Miles Standish was charged by the court, 7 Mar 1647, "to have the hearing and to put and end to all differences do remain in the town of Yarmouth. And he did, in one day. One item included, "Robert Dennis shall enjoy 12 acres of upland in the west field, which he bought of Peter Worden, and 10 acres of Mr Hawes, and 7 acres of Mr. Hallot, and 4 acres there given him by the town." [spelling modernized]

On 5 Jun 1651, 22 men, including Peter Worden, were sworn in as jurors for "The Grand Enquest." Almost a year later, 3 Jun 1652, Peter was fined "according to order," for not appearing to serve on the grand enquest.

He apparently was not as reverent in church as the leadership might wish: On 5 Mar 1666 the court at Plymouth fined "William Lumpkin and Peter Worden for causing a disturbance at the meeting house in Yarmouth on the Lords day," 10 shillings to the use of the colony.

Although he was over 60 at the time of King Phillips war in 1676, Peter's will indicates he had military service of some kind: ". . . of all other lands due to me from the Town not yet layed out or from the Country as procured by the late war with the Indians."1,3

Peter left a will dated 9 January 1679/80, with a codicil dated 29 Jul 1680, inventory dated 20 Jan 1680/1, and proved 3 Mar 1680/1, naming:
Son Samuel as sole executor to receive all lands at Equivett Neck, with eight acres at the South Sea; house and surrounding land after the death of the widow; estate in Old England; certain cattle, plowing equipment, bedstead, chest, cloak, gun, three acres of marsh after Martha's death, other sundry items.

Daughter Martha, a life interest in three acres of marsh, then to Samuel. Life interest in cattle, then to her 2 daughters.

Wife Mary, a life interest in housing, lands, and orchards, household goods and cattle for her support. At her death, goods and cattle remaining go equally to the daughters, Mary, Marcye, and Martha.

Daughter Mary, twenty acres of upland, forever.

The codicil further gave Samuel some oxen and Peter's Indian squaw servant after the death of wife Mary; directed Samuel to provide his mother with firewood, and hay for her cattle; forgave twenty shillings each of debts owed by two sons-in law, John Burge and Kenelm Winslow.4


Mary (…) d. 6 Mar 1686/87
  • Mary Worden1 b. say 1639
  • Mercy Worden+1 b. 1641, d. 22 Sep 1688
  • Martha Worden1 b. say 1643
  • Samuel Worden1 b. say 1646
This person was last edited on5 Jun 2019


  1. [S144] Waite W. Worden, Worden (East Burke, Vermont: p.p., 1992), 41-48, further cited as Worden, Worden.
  2. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1595, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  3. [S86] Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History & People 1620-1691 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1986), 445, further cited as Stratton, Plymouth Colony.
  4. [S144] Worden, Worden, 48.