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Peter Worden settled at Yarmouth (now E. Dennis), MA. He married Mary _____. Some say Mary’s maiden name was Winslow. Her daughter Mercy is said to have married her cousin Kenelm Winslow, but no proof beyond this found. I have also seen her maiden name as Sears, again with no proof.
I have multiple lines from Peter and Mary through their daughter Mary who married John Burgess, then through their children Joseph, John and Patience Burgess.
Peter’s father, Peter Senior, came to Plymouth Colony, settling at Yarmouth. He was the first white settler to die there, in 1639 and probably came on the ship Little James in 1624. His estate included land in the town of Clayton, Lancaster, England, as well as his Yarmouth land. Peter Senior settled, possibly by 1636, in what is now East Dennis on north side of 6A opposite #1855. He may have originally settled Yarmouth without official permission, so basically a squatter.
Peter, the younger, settled on the land by 1643. Most of the original Worden land was later owned by the Chapman and Homer families. His nearest neighbor was Richard Sears, who came to Yarmouth around the same time.
No families of the name Worden in Dennis today. There is a Worden Hall, a former community meeting place and now an art gallery and private home.
He was taxed in 1676 toward King Philips War, 8:17:09, a sum much higher than most of the men in Yarmouth.
In 1699 he purchased land in Harwich (now Brewster) from Nicholas Snow and in turn sold it to his son-in-law Kenelm Winslow.
Peter wrote his will 9 Jan 1679-80, codicil 23 July 1680, calling himself about 71 years old. He
died before 3 Mar 1681. He left bequests to his wife Mary, children Samuel, Martha wife of
Joseph Severance, Mary wife of John Burgess, Mercy wife of Kenelm Winslow.
He bequested his land at “Equinett Necke” that went down to the south sea to son Samuel. He also
left his homestead land, including upland, marsh and orchard, to Samuel after his mother’s decease,
as well as any other land the town or government may give to him after the late war with the Indians.
He also gave Samuel his best bedstead, trundle bedstead, his chest, cloak, and all of his cattle,
excepting two oxen, and all his estate in old England both land and other estate that “came by
To his daughter Martha, wife of Joseph Severens, he gave a three acre piece of marsh and all
the cattle and goods he had already given her as well as another cow; to his daughter Mary, the wife
of John Burgis, one half of his four acres of uplands.
He gave to his loving wife Mary Worden his housing, lands and orchards and all the household goods and cattle during her life. All cattle left after her decease should equally divided amongst their three daughters, Mary, Mercy and Martha.
Mary died on 25 March 1687. She survived her husband by six years. Her Will was dated 6 March 1686 was proved 31 May 1687 and states she was 77 years old. She mentions a previous agreement dated 2 May 1681. She left her wearing apparel to her daughters Mary Burge, Mercy Winslow and Martha Seaverns. The rest of her estate to go to son-in-law John Burge, “excepting my Indian squaw servant which I will and bequeath to my Son Samuel Worden." Executor was John Burge. She signed by her mark.
Inventory of widow Mary Worden, of Yarmouth, was taken by Paul Sears, who signed by a mark, and John Hall. Sworn to by John Burge on 31 May, 1687. And recorded 8 June, 1687.
|Marker at the Worden Cemetery, Dennis (Source: capecodgravestones.com)|
Peter and Mary are buried at Worden Cemetery, behind Worden Community Center on Rt. 6A in Dennis. There is a slate marker with bronze plaque that was added later. The burial ground is near the original homestead on a hill which is the site of Peter Sr.'s grave and probably that of Peter Jr. and his wife as well.
|Close up of stone|
Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, Spring 2002
Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996
Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884