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B. Armorial
C. Townships
D. Family Tree
E. Of Steam Hammers
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Worthingtons Workshop


Worthington Coat of Arms
Standish Church, Lancaster, England.

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This article describes the genealogy of my immediate family


Family Name

Worthington village, Leicestershire, England is the original locality of the family. The modern version of the name can be derived from three words:
1. 'Worth' derived from the Saxon/Old English name Wurth.
2. 'ing' in the middle of a name usually comes from 'inga', which meant 'belonging to' or 'the people of'.
3. 'ton' Middle English, from Old English tun 'enclosure/farm/village', from Proto-Germanic tunan 'fence'
My surname thus means: The people of the Wurth family farm/village. When William the Conqueror did an account of England in 1086 the name was Normanised to 'Worthington'. The family name originally appears spelled 'Werditone' in the Domesday book of 1086, the record of William the Conquerers possessions in England.
Domesday Book reference: http://domesdaymap.co.uk/place/SK4020/worthington/
also see the ABC TV series/book 'The Adventure of English'
My first name (Robert) is also of Norman derivation:
'Hreod Beraht' means 'Bright Fame'. It first appeared in England during the Norman invasion.

Coat of Arms

Argent- three shakeforks, sable, two and one; crest a goat passant, argent, holding in his mouth an oak branch proper (or vert) , fructed, or; which, translated, means a silver shield with three black, triple-tined stable forks, one below and two above; the crest, a side view of a silver goat, holding in it's mouth a green leafed oak branch with golden acorns.

Family Motto

Virtute Dignus Avorum (In virtue worthy of ones ancestors).
The motto and the coat of arms may be seen in Chorley Church, Winslow Parish, Cheshire, England.


Worthington de Worthington, in the reign of Henry III, (1236-1237), was the progenitor of all the Worthingtons of Lancashire.

Armorial Bearings

Most of the armorial bearings of the Worthington families were derived from historic usage, but there is an exception in a coat and crest granted by Christopher Barker, who was Garter King of Arms from 1536 to 1550. No Christian name was recorded, but on the coat was written "Worthington Le Eundum" meaning Worthington of the same place.

Presumably Richard Worthington, who was lord of the manor of Worthington during the period, visited the College in London to make sure that the arms which he and his ancestors were already using were properly authorised, and to protect the family from the possibility of others taking the same arms.

The Worthingtons of Worthington had already been using arms for half a century, for Richard's grandfather, Hugh, was described as an armiger in 1464. The coat of arms of this family was Argent three dungforks sable, and their crest A goat statant argent browsing at a clump of nettles vert.

The family may have selected these devices to symbolise a type of pastoral life with which they had long been associated, but the dung forks were a pun on the word "worthing" which was dialect for manure.

The Coat of Arms of the various Worthington Families
1. The Worthingtons of Worthington, Lancashire; granted between 1536 and 1550
2. Sir William Worthington of Springfield, Essex; entered 1614
3. The Worthingtons of Blainscough, Lancashire; shield allowed 1567, crest allowed 1664-5
4. The Worthingtons of Crawshaw, Lancashire; allowed 1664-5
5. The Worthingtons of Branston, Lincolnshire; allowed 1592

Townships and Buildings

Origin of the Worthington Township

Twenty miles northeast of Liverpool in Leyland hundred, parish of Standish, county of Lancaster, England is the township of Worthington. The Worthington family had been established in the area since the time of the Plantagenets. Another town of Worthington is found in Leicestershire near Burton Upon Trent. It was named 'Werditone' in the Domesday Book, a census of England created for William the Conquerer in 1086.

County Standish

The Worthington family resided at Worthington in Standish, Lancashire from about 1150, shortly after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Their landholdings in the area were extensive and their country seat, Worthington Hall, was built in 1577. At that time the village of Worthington was entirely rural and comprised a handful of cottages. By 1215 the first mention is made of the Coppull Family, perhaps related to the Worthingtons, possibly the origin of the township Coppull-with-Worthington.

Other Properties

In addition to the manor of Adlington, one Thomas Clayton bought the adjoining manor of Worthington from Edward Worthington and his wife, Jane, in 1690. The properties of Adlington and Worthington were passed by descent to members of the Clayton family, most notable among whom were Richard Clayton who became Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland from 1765 until his death in 1770. By this time, Crawshaw Hall, Adlington, and Bottom of Common End all effectively belonged to the Worthington family.

The later Worthington Township

In the late 1770s, in common with many other Lancashire villages, textiles manufacturing and servicing was introduced to the village, on the site of the Worthington Mill, the original of which dated from around 1348. Initially a small dye works, later became a paper mill, and then more recently a textile mill - it closed down as recently as 1998. The old Hall of Worthington in Lancashire, where the family lived for seven hundred years, was pulled down less than fifty years ago. The later Hall is still standing and is nowadays a working farm.

Worthington, Lancashire

Worthington Farmhouse

Worthington Family Tree

Generation Child Father Mother Birthplace
6th Grand (M) John Worthington Unknown Unknown Lancs, England
6th Grand (F) Jane Wright Thomas Wright Unknown Lancs, England
5th Grand (M) John Worthington John Worthington Jane Wright Toxteth Park, Lancs, Eng.
Margaret O'Shea Patt O'Shea Mary Ryan Limerick, Ireland
Unknown Page Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Godkin Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Kewen Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Augustus Arnold Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
John Bennett Unknown Unknown Unknown
Emily Lowe Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Neath Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Smith Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
5th Grand (F) James Wilson Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ellen Webb Unknown Webb Unknown Unknown
Daniel Judd Unknown Judd Unknown Unknown
Rebecca Walters Unknown Walters Unknown Unknown
Joseph Chaffey Unknown Chaffey Unknown Unknown
Honour Russ Unknown Russ Unknown Unknown
Unknown Palmer Unknown Palmer Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Penney Unknown Penney Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Dow Unknown Dow Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
John Allen Unknown Allen Unknown Unknown
Catherine V Kennedy Unknown Kennedy Unknown Unknown
John A Kingsmill Unknown Kingsmill Unknown Unknown
Mary Johnstone Unknown Johnstone Unknown Unknown
4th Grand (M) James L Worthington John Worthington Margaret O'Shea Ryde, NSW, AU
Eliza Page Unknown Page Unknown Unknown
Robert W Godkin Maximillian P Godkin Margaret Kewen Lane Cove, NSW, AU
Eliza (Unknown) Unknown Unknown Unknown
Augustus Arnold Augustus Arnold Unknown Unknown
Lucy Bennett John Bennett Emily Lowe Unknown
John E Neath George Neath Hannah Denham Burnam, England
Anna L Brown Benjamin Brown Phoebe Lee Burtle, England
4th Grand (F) Frederick Wilson James Wilson Ellen Webb Unknown
Esther Judd Daniel Judd Rebecca Walters Unknown
Joseph Chaffey Joseph Chaffey Honour Russ Unknown
Elizabeth H Palmer Unknown Palmer Unknown Unknown
Alexander Penney Unknown Penney Unknown Unknown
Janet Dow Unknown Dow Unknown Unknown
James K Allen John Allen Catherine V Kennedy May, Ireland
Sophia L Kingsmill John A Kingsmill Mary Johnstone Sydney, NSW, AU
3rd Grand (M) John W Worthington James L Worthington Eliza Page Ryde, NSW, AU
Eliza McC Godkin Robert W Godkin Eliza (Unknown) Sydney, NSW, AU
Arthur G Arnold Augustus Arnold Lucy Bennett Bombala, NSW, AU
Anna L Neath John E Neath Anna L Brown Bega, NSW, AU
3rd Grand (F) Victor C Wilson Frederick Wilson Esther Judd Tamworth, NSW, AU
Ada B Chaffey Joseph Chaffey Elizabeth H Palmer Tintinhull, NSW, AU
Peter K Penney Alexander Penney Janet Dow Linktown, Fife, Scotland
Helena L Allen James K Allen Sophia L Kingsmill Dungog, NSW, AU
2nd Grand (M) Norman J Worthington John W Worthington Eliza McC Godkin St Peters, NSW, AU
Amy L Arnold Arthur G Arnold Anna L Neath Bombala, NSW, AU
2nd Grand (F) Victor C Wilson William M Wilson Ada B Chaffey Tamworth, NSW, AU
Mary H Penney Peter K Penney Helena L Allen Waratah, NSW, AU
Grandparents (M) Robert Worthington Norman J Worthington Amy L Arnold Lakemba, NSW, AU
Grandparents (F) Gladys M Wilson Victor C Wilson Mary H Penney Kootingal, NSW, AU
Parents Robert F Worthington Robert Worthington Gladys M Wilson Sydney, NSW, AU

Of Steam Hammers and Sergeant Pepper

Between the 1790's and the 1800's Thomas Cheek Hewes [1,2,3] (1768-1832) built mill machinery including water wheels and spinning machinery in Manchester, England. In the late 1790's he began installing Boulton and Watt steam engines and worked in 1816-17 with draughtsman William Fairbairn [4] (1789-1874). In 1818 he was listed as a Machine Maker of Manchester. Henry Wren joined the company in 1812 and became a partner in 1821. The company of Hewes and Wren was incorporated in 1825.

William Bennett [5] (1788-1866) and John Bennett [6] (1792-1864) were brothers both associated with the early days of steam. After the death of Hewes in 1832, William Bennett was made a partner in the firm, with a company name change to Wren and Bennett, Millwrights, Machine Makers and Engineers. John Bennett was employed as the clerk at Boulton and Watt [7] in Birmingham.

James Nasmyth [8,9] (1808-1890), a Scottish engineer, had an early career of planing cast iron inking tables for printing machines made by Wren and Bennett. Between 1838 and 1842 he developed the Steam Hammer, as first used by Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the paddle shaft of the Steamer 'Great Britain'. In 1842 William Bennett provided timely information and funding for patenting the Steam Hammer after the discovery of an unlicensed French copy at the Le Creusot Steel Works.

Nasmyth Steam Hammer


William Bennett married James Nasmyth's sister Mary 'Ann' Gibson Nasmyth (1798-1874) in 1838. John Bennett married Emily Anne Lowe (1801-1867) of Birmingham on 22nd June 1819. Convicted of embezzling Boulton and Watts on 2nd August 1827, he was transported as a convict with a 14 year sentence to Sydney in 1828. His wife emigrated to Australia with their four children in 1831, after which another five children were Australian born.

Augustus Arnold (1832-1897) was the stage builder for the famous English Pablo Fanques Circus [10], which specialised in equestrian and tightrope acts. A benefit was performed in 1843 for a Mr Kite, a circus equestrian who died in an accident with his horse. John Lennon of the Beatles discovered the playbill for this performance in an antique shop, and wrote the song 'Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite' [11] on the Sergeant Peppers album.

Mr Kite Benefit

John Lennon & Playbill

Augustus Arnold emigrated to Bombala, NSW around 1845 and married Louisa 'Lucy' Bennett (1837-1913), the youngest daughter of John Bennett, in 1855. The Arnolds' son Arthur (1871-1958) married Annie Lavinia Neath (1873-1954) in 1898 at Bega, and became a bootmaker in Wentworthville, NSW. Their daughter Amy Lavinia Arnold (1899-1984) married Norman 'Jack' Worthington (1896-1972), who worked in the signalling division of the New South Wales Government Railways. I affectionately remember both as my paternal grandparents.

Augustus & Lucy Arnold grave, Bombala, NSW.


[1] A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland. Edited by A. W. Skempton. pp320.
[2] Thomas Cheek Hewes (1768-1832) - An Ingenious Engineer and Mechanic of Manchester.
[3] Graces Guide - British Industrial History - Thomas Hewes.
[4] Graces Guide - British Industrial History - William Fairbairn.
[5] Graces Guide - British Industrial History - Wren and Bennett company.
[6] Hyde Park Barracks Museum - Convict Database Record - John Bennett.
[7] Wikipedia - Boulton and Watt.
[8] Graces Guide - British Industrial History - James Nasmyth.
[9] Wikipedia - James Nasmyth.
[10] Wikipedia: Pablo Fanques Circus.
[11] Wikipedia: Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite.

If you have access to Ancestry.com.au look up the 'Kingsmill and Others' Family tree to see all the connections.

Further Reading

The Worthington Families of Medieval England, by Philip Michael Worthington, B.Sc(Eng.), C.Eng., F.I.C.E., F.R.S.A., C.B.I.M., M.I.M.C., Published by Phillimore & Co. Ltd. Shopwyke Hall, Chichester, Sussex, England, 1985 - ISBN 0 85033 587 6.

More information of the Worthington Family can be found on Edward Worthington's website at: http://www.worthington.moonfruit.com.

My sister has a web site with further information on some of the relatives listed in the family tree above. She has done a lot of work, especially with contacts in England - I don't know how she does it. Have a look at: http://www.users.on.net/~lamingtonchild/

Please email me at the address on the Home Page. I can supply a much enlarged chart in Gedcom (filename.ged) format. If you have any inquiries or would like to add information to this chart, I will be pleased to accept further information.

Page Updated 02 Feb 2015