Worthington Family - or should that be Warrington Family?

Tracing through the Worthington family is like trying to piece together a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle...with lots of pieces missing. It certainly doesn't help that during their early years in New South Wales, some members of the family used different variations of the name Worthington.

John Worthington

Our story starts with John Worthington, who was born about 1784 in Lancaster. In May 1805, he was tried and convicted of larceny at Quarter Sessions Lancaster, and was sentenced to 7 years. He had stolen timber at Pendlebury, the property of Mr John Greaves. He was transported on the "Fortune" in 1806, which arrived in Sydney on 12 July 1806. The 1806 Muster states that John was engaged at the lumberyard, and that he was a carpenter in Sydney.

John Worthington had three or four children with another convict, Catharine Malone. No record of a marriage between the two has been found. Read more about Catharine Malone. The children were:

  • James Worthington/Warrington (Abt 1805-1889);
  • Thomas Worthington(Abt 1809-);
  • John Worthington (Abt 1811-1899)
  • William Fry Warrington (1812-1894)

Their stories are told below.

1807: On 27 June 1807, John was one of nine people charged with attempting to escape the Colony Sydney, New South Wales. He acknowledged his intent to leave the colony, was found guilty, and sentenced to lashes. Details of this case can be found at R v. Peyton [1807].

1810: On 5 January John is included with a group of other prisoners "to be released from Sydney Gaol on the occasion of Lachlan Macquarie taking charge of the Government". Just what he had done to be in Gaol, and how long he had been there is unknown at this time.

1810: On the 23 June John was convicted with two other men by the NSW Bench Magistrate for the crime of stealing fowls.

1811 Muster: This Muster states that he was tried at Manchester in May 1805, and arrived on the "Fortune".

1812: On 12 May 1812, John was granted his Certificate of Freedom. This is the last reference to John that shows that he was still in New South Wales.

1816 Muster: This muster lists John as having been tried in Manchester in March 1805, and that he arrived on the "Fortune" in July 1806. It also states that his 7 year sentence expired in March 1812, he was a carpenter, and that he had "left the colony".

1817 Muster: This muster also lists John as having been tried in Manchester in March 1805, and that he arrived on the "Fortune" in July 1806. It also states that his 7 year sentence expired in 1812, and that he had "left the colony".

1818: On the Return of the Number of Orphans in Liverpool in July 1818, on which his son Thomas was listed, James is again listed as "left the colony" .

1820 Muster: This muster also lists John as having been tried in Manchester in March 1805, and that he arrived on the "Fortune" in July 1806. It states that his 7 year sentence expired in 1814 (not 1812 as listed on other musters, but this is probably a mistake), and that he had "left the colony".

1821 Muster: This muster also lists John as having been tried in Manchester in March 1805, and that he arrived on the "Fortune" in July 1806. It also states that his 7 year sentence expired in 1812, and that he had "left". This Muster identifies at least one convict, James Wright, who arrived on the "Fortune" in 1806 as "missing". James Wright was tried in Aberdeen in 1803.

This would suggest more that he was either in hiding, or had left the colony of N.S.W.

It has been suggested that he returned to England, and was the John Worthington who was charged with Highway Robbery, was sentenced to Life (originally sentenced to death, but then commuted to life) in Lancaster on 20 March 1820, and transported on the "Elizabeth" in 1821. In the 1822 Muster,this John is listed as a Government Carpenter. According to the 1825 Muster, he died 17 May 1825 at Sydney aged 47. This is unlikely to be our John for several reasons:

  1. John would probably not have had the funds required to return to England.
  2. As mentioned above, he is listed as "missing" on the 1821 Muster. Had he returned to England, he would have had to obtain permission to do so, and would not have been "missing".
  3. Having previously been transported to Australia, and then being found guilty of such a serious crime, his sentence would not have been commuted to life.

1822 Muster: No listing.

1828 Census: No listing found

Nothing further has been found about John, to show what became of him after 1811.

James Worthington/Warrington (Abt 1805-1889)

1822 Muster: Not found.

1823: A memorial dated 31 May 1823 asks for a grant of land from Governor Brisbane. James declares that:

  • He is a Native of the Colony;
  • He is now 18 years of age;
  • He has supported himself during the last 5 years;
  • He is in the service of Mr Moses Brennan.

This memorial was declined on 2 July 1823.

1824: John lodged a second memorial to the Colonial Secretary on 21 August 1824, again asking for a grant of land from Governor Brisbane. In this memorial, James declares that:

  • He is a Native of the Colony;
  • He is now 19 years of age;
  • He has lived with Moses Brennan for upwards of 7 years.

He refers to 8 head of horned cattle he owns and for which he needs land.

1825 Muster: John Warrington is listed as born in colony, no age given, and employed by M Brennan at Appin. This is almost certainly James Worthington/Warrington, as there is a separate listing for John at the Orphan School.

1828 Census: James appears on the 1828 Census as James Worthington, his age is given as 23 (so born about 1804/1805), he was born in the colony, his occupation a labourer, and he lived in Appin the household of Moses Brennan. The Census also incorrectly states that James arrived on the "Archduke Charles" in 1812 and was sentenced to 7 years. There is a correction in the Census statingThere is no James Worthington (or any name similar) on the indents for the "Archduke Charles" for 1812. As James was born about 1805, it would seem highly unlikely that a 7 year old child would be transported. Moses Brennan wife, Mary Rooney, had arrived on the "Archduke Charles" in 1812, so it is likely that these details were incorrectly given for James, as well.

1829: John lodged a third memorial to the Colonial Secretary on 9 December 1829, again asking for a grant of land from Governor Brisbane. In this memorial, James declares that:

  • He is a Native of the Colony;
  • He is now 25 years of age;
  • He has lived with Moses Brennan for 10 years.

James apparently got a small grant for 7 years, between 1830-1837.

1833: James Warrington married Mary Byrne on 27 November 1833. The witnesses to the wedding were Patrick Garrigan and Sarah Byrne.

Between 1833 and 1860, James and Mary had 13 children. The first two children, Catherine and Sarah, were baptised as Warrington, all other children were baptised as Worthington. Children born to James and Mary were:

  • Catherine (1835 - Bef 1847);
  • Sarah (1837 - 1869) married Joseph Winter;
  • Anne (1839 - 1905) married Francis Rowe Mannell
  • William (1841 - 1922) married Mary Barry;
  • Rebecca (1843 - Bef 1896) married John Johnston;
  • Amelia Agnes (1845 - 1923) married Michael Joseph Doyle;
  • Catherine (1847 - 1928) married John Field;
  • Frances Mary (1849 - 1916) married William Reardon;
  • James Joseph (1851 - 1928) married Maria Bridget Reardon;
  • Patrick Joseph (1853 - 1937) married Margaret Coughlan;
  • John Joseph (1856 - ?) married Mary Ann Donohoe;
  • Thomas Worthington (1858 - 1935) married Mary Catherine Dwyer; and
  • Edward Joseph (1860 - 1939) Catherine Teresa Barry.

1873: James Worthington, and his son James, are both on the electoral roll for Argyle with leasehold at Spring Valley

1874: James (Senior) had moved into Collector, his son James was still at Spring Valley.

Sometime between 1874 and 1884, James and his family moved from the Collector/Currawang area, to the Cootamundra district.

1884: James is enrolled with a residence at Cungegong Creek, near Cootamundra. Some of his sons and a daughter are also listed on the electoral roll in the Cootamundra district.

1887: James has a residence at The Oaks, Stockinbingal (near Cootamundra). His son, Thomas, has leasehold at The Oaks.

1889: James died on 9 September 1889 at Yeo Yeo, New South Wales. He was buried at Cootamundra Cemetery on 12 September 1889.

Thomas Worthington (1809- )

1818: Thomas Warrenton was listed in the Return of the Number of Orphans in the district of Liverpool in July. He was under the care of David Nowland of Airds, and age given was 8 (born abt 1809/1810). Comments were as follows: "Father's name John Warrenton left the colony. Mother's name Catherine Malone resides in Sydney has 4 children and in great distress."

1819: Thomas Warrington was admitted to the Orphan School on April 12, at the age of 9, placing his date of birth about 1809/1810. His parent's name on the admission papers was given as David Nowland, a farmer from Airds.

1822 Muster: Listed as Thomas Warrington, born in the colony, aged 10, Orphan School Sydney.

1825 Muster: Thomas Warrington is listed as born in colony, no age given, and living at the Orphan School, Liverpool.

1828 Census: Thomas appears as Thomas Warrington, his age is given as 18 (so born about 1809/1810), his occupation was a carpenter, and he lived in Cabramatta in the household of Revd Robert Cartwright.

1832: Thomas was tried and convicted with his friend James Moore in the Quarter Sessions in Campbelltown, NSW of assaulting a Campbelltown Police Constable. Worthington and Moore are recorded as being labourers residing at Campbelltown.

1838: On November 24 Thomas Warrington, aged 26, was refused permission by Revd J Goold to marry Sarah Ann Alcock, aged 25, as Sarah was still married.

1838: On 6 December Thomas Warrington "Native of the Colony" was again refused permission to marry Sarah Ann Alcock. Permission was not granted, as "Alcock having on arrival stated that she was married, the Marriage cannot be approved, unless she produces proof of her now being a Widow." The Minister who refused permission was again The Reverend James F D Goold of Campbelltown.

1839: On 29 April Thomas Whittington was refused permission to marry Mary Ann Howard, who had arrived on the "Wellesley". The Revd J F Goold of Campbelltown was refused permission because: "It is necessary to state whether Thomas Whittington arrived free or not and also the name of the ship". Thomas stated that he was free, but no information is recorded for name of ship/born in colony.

1839: On 4th May Thomas Worthington was again refused permission to marry Mary Anne Howard. The Revd J F Goold of Campbelltown was again responsible for refusing permission because: "It is necessary to state whether Worthington arrived free or not, and also the name of the Ship he came by before the Ceremony can be performed." Thomas gave his age as 27 (putting his date of birth around 1812, and Mary Anne gave her age as 21 (putting her date of birth around 1818).

1839: Thomas Worthington and Mary Anne Howard again applied for permission to marry on 10 May, and this time their application was approved by Revd Goold. They were married at St John's Campbelltown on 29 May 1839.

John Worthington (1812-1899)

1820: Sarah Smith lodged a petition on 12 July 1820 on behalf of John Warrington to have him admitted to the Orphan School as follows: "that John Warrington be admitted; - and that a remuneration of five shillings (?) week be paid the memorialist for her attention to the Boy, during the time he has been under her care." He was admitted on the same date. The entry gives his age as 8 (born abt 1812), and lists his mother as Catherine Malowny (or Malouny), a washerwoman of Liverpool.

1822 Muster: Listed as John Warrington, born in the colony, aged 10, Orphan School Sydney.

1825 Muster: John Worrington is listed as born in colony, aged 12, and living at the Orphan School, Liverpool.

1826: John Warrington left the Orphan School on 26 December 1826, was given Indentures of Apprenticeship, and was assigned to Alexander Berry and Edward Wollstonecraft.

1828 Census: Not found.

William Fry Warrington (1812-1894)

1812: William Fry Warrington was born 8 June 1812.

1822 Muster: Not found.

1825 Muster: William Worrington is listed as born in colony, aged 13, employed by Samuel Fly (Fry???) and living in the Illawarra district.

Samuel Fry was transported in 1800 on the "Royal Admiral". He had been tried in Middlesex in 1797, was sentenced to 7 years, and was aged 27. He married Mary A Jones in Parramatta in 1807. This was the same Mary Ann Jones who came out in 1806 on the "Alexander" (confirmed from the 1816 and 1825 Musters). If Catherine Malone(y) was the Catherine who came out on the "Alexander", she would have known Mary Ann. When Catherine was no longer able to look after her children, the Frys may have stepped in to help her. Samuel and Mary Fry are listed in the 1825 Muster as living in the Illawara district. Samuel Fry died in 1847, aged 77.

1826: William was not baptised until 11 June 1826. He was baptised as William Fry Malone. This has led to the belief by some descendants, that William's father's surname was Fry. If Samuel and Mary Fry arranged the baptism, this could be another explanation for the inclusion of "Fry" in his name. Other than his mother's name, Catharine Malone, there is no other information on his baptism certificate. Most of William's children were registered as Warrington, though some were registered as Fry.

1841: William Harrington (sic) married Lucy (Louisa) Jackson (nee Knowland) on 27 September at the Roman Catholic Church Dapto.

William and Lucy (Louisa) Warrington had 8 children. The eldest, William, was registered as Warrington, but used the surname Fry, all of the other children used the name Warrington.

1894: William Warrington died 23 June 1894 at Braidwood.