The World of Grandpa Don

The Warden Family Line 

This page was inspired with the finding of a Warden DNA match in the DNA study.

This is the Winslow story, as I know it.

Your return trip to ...

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The Family

Information for this part of the story is taken from Warden, The Ancestry of Minetta R Warden.

In England

The Worden family were occupying land in the Town of Clayton (now Clayton-le-Woods) Lancashire, England as early as 1190, according to Place Names of Lancashire, by Eilert Ekwall. TheCockersand Abbey land rental records indicate that Henry Werden was occupying land in the Town of Clayton in 1451. The earliest surviving Court Rolls of Clayton Manor (1574) contains the name William Werden and his son and heir, Robert Werden (William died that year). A William Werden was included in the Preston Guild Rolls of 1459, and Peter Werden and his son Peter Werden were on the Preston Guild Rolls as late as 1622. William Werden and his son Robert Werden were the grandfather and father of Peter Worden--the first of the Worden line in America.

PETER WORDEN, the son of Robert Worden (b. 1534, d. 1580) and Isabel Worthington, was born about 1576 in Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, England during the reigh of Queen Elizabeth I (1558 to 1603). He died in February 1639 at Yarmouth, Massachusetts. He was the first of the English to die in Yarmouth. He married Margaret Grice, daughter of Thomas and Alice Grice, and widow of Anthony Wall, about 1603, according to a 1607 Palatine Chancery Court action (PRO-PL6/1, No. 37). She was born between 1566 and 1571, probably in Warrington, Lancashire. She died early in 1612. She had five children by her first husband, who died in 1601.

Peter Worden was listed as "Gentleman" in several documents, and he was a member of the Town Council of Preston, Lancashire, England, which is located about five miles from Clayton. He was a "Foreign (outsider) Burgess" in Preston, and he leased a shop in the Guild hall, located next to the Preston Market Place, on 01 October 1617. He was last recorded in Preston on 21 January 1629, when, according to the early archives of Preston Borough, he loaned 8 shillings to the Borough for a project concerned with common lands.

In 1630 the Plague, which had already ravaged London, struck Preston, and 1069 people out of a population of 3000 died within the year. Peter Worden, his son, and their families probably left Preston because of the plague, as did many of the other survivors, because he next appears in the American Colonies in the mid 1630s. He was probably one of those who came "On Their Perticulers" (not belonging to any general group of emigrants from England sharing a common sectarian religion--such as the Pilgrims.)


 Our Worden Lineage

Generation 1
Peter Worden (1568-1639)

The following is  partially from the Warden, The Ancestry of Minetta R Warden.  ...

It is believed that Peter Worden was first in Lynn, Massachusetts before moving to Yarmouth in 1639. In The History of Old Yarmouth, by Charles F. Swift, is the following: "At the extreme easterly part of the Town, Peter Worden [sic] the elder and younger have established themselves, in spite of the opposition of some of their associates, and here the former died the first year of settlement."

Peter Worden's will was probated on 05 March 1639. It is the first will printed in the Plymouth Court Records. A copy of the will remains in the Barnstable Probate Court. In his will Peter Worden left most of his real and personal property in both England and America to his son, Peter Worden. Both he and his son are buried in the Worden Cemetery, overlooking Cape Cod Bay. The cemetery is located on the south side of Route 6A in the Town of Dennis near the border of the Town of Brewster. Directly across Route 6A, in a pasture, is a small foundation said to be from the house of the elder Peter Worden. The barn in the pasture is said to be built on the original foundation of the house of his son, Peter Worden. 

Generation 2
PETER WORDEN (1609-1680)

The following is  partially from the
Warden, The Ancestry of Minetta R Warden.  ...


PETER WORDEN, the son of Peter Worden and Margaret (Grice) Wall, was born in 1609 in Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, England. he died in 1681 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. He married Mary in England. She died about 1681.

Peter Worden was first recorded in New England on 02 June 1640. In 1643 he and fifty-one other men of the Yarmouth Company, all sixteen to twenty year old males capable of performing military duties, were directed to establish a place of defense against sudden assault. On 05 March 1667, he was fined 10 shillings for causing a disturbance at the meeting house at Yarmouth on the Lord's Day. The disturbance consisted of sitting in a corner of the meeting house and conversing in a low tone during the service. On 05 April 1669, he bought a parcel of land from William Twing of Eastham, which he transferred to his son-in-law Kenelem on the same day--apparently as a dower for his daughter Mercy. Peter Worden was assessed a war tax (King Philip's War) of 8 pounds, 2 shillings, 3 pence in 1676--one of the largest in the Town.

Peter Worden's will, dated 09 January 1680 with a codicil dated 29 July 1680, was proved on 03 March 1681. His only son, Samuel, was named executor. The will is lengthy and detailed. his wife, Mary, survived him by six years. Her will is dated 06 March 1686. She left her Indian sqauw servant to her son, Samuel. She died on 25 March 1687 in Yarmouth. Both Peter Warden and his wife, Mary, are buried in the Worden Cemetery in the Town of Dennis on Cape Cod (formerly the east end of Old Yarmouth).

Peter and Mary had 5 children.

  • Mary, born in 1639 in Yarmouth, died in 1723 in Yarmouth, buried in the Worden Cemetery on Cape Cod, married John Burge on 08 September 1657 in Yarmouth.

  • Mercy, born 1641 in Yarmouth, died 22 September 1688 in Yarmouth, buried in the Worden Cemetery on Cape Cod, married Kenelem Winslow, 2nd., on 23 September 1667.

  • Martha, born about 1643 in Yarmouth, died in 1725, married Joseph Severance.

  • Samuel, born about 1646 in Barnstable (now East Dennis), died 26 August 1716 in Stonington, Connecticut, buried in Wequetequoc Cemetery in Stonington, married Hopestill Holley.

  • a daughter born on 10 February 1648.

Generation 3
Mercy Worden (1639 - 1688)
Mercy would be my 8th great grandmother. She married Kenelm Winslow. For a continuation of their family see The Winslow Family Line Generation 2.



Relationship Chart:

This chart shows the relationship between myself and Peter Worden & Margaret Grice my 9th great grandparents.




Cousins & Stuff

The DNA matched me to a cousin only known to me as "nedersl".  Oddly, the match incorrectly identified our nearest common ancestor as being Mercy Worden showing us as 8th cousins. Our actual relationship is 9th cousins and our closest common ancestors are my 8th great grandparents, Peter Worden & Mary Magdalene Winslow. See Relationship Chart.  The error had me baffled for a while and took a couple days to unravel. At first I thought that Mercy Worden had two marriages but if that were true, based on the births of the children of those marriages and the dates of death of the husbands, they existed concurrently. And ... no woman could possibly have that many children! Then I saw it ... Ancestry had "assumed" that Mercy and Mary were the same. They were actually sisters with different husbands. Mercy was my ancestor and Mary was the ancestor of my cousin. Their parents were our common ancestors.


Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
January 15, 2013


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