Wentworth Family History
William Wentworth, of Salem, Massachusetts, 1584-1629
As far as I have been able to trace back in time the Wentworth family begins with Reginold de Wynterwade who was born in 1040. His name is written as Rynold de Wynterwade in the Domesday Book. He was living at the time of the Norman conquest in 1066. As at that time there were no surnames, he was simply Reginald, Lord of Wentworth. He was the possessor in Saxon times of the lordship of Wentworth, in the Wapentake [subdivision of the county] of Strafford, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Yorkshire consists of three divisions, known as North, East, and West Ridings. Wentworth is in the Parish of Wath-upon-Dearn, about nine miles from Sheffield. Reginold had a son, Henry de Weyntwood, born about 1065, wife unknown.
Henry had son, Richard de Wentworth circa 1090.
Richard had son, Michael de Wentworth circa 1115.
Michael had son, Henry de Wentworth circa 1135.
Henry had son, Hugh de Wentworth circa 1160.
Hugh had son, William de Wentworth circa 1200.
William had son, Robert de Wentworth circa 1225.
In the early 1300’s the Wentworth heir, Robert Wentworth married Emma Woodhouse daughter of William Woodhouse, of Woodhouse Manor, an estate contiguous to Wentworth Manor, thus acquiring that estate. The de Wentworth-Woodhouses soon dropped the Woodhouse part of the family name but kept it for the house and became Wentworth’s of Wentworth Woodhouse. The estate was known as Wentworth-Woodhouse until the first Marquis of Rockingham rebuilt it and changed the name to Wentworth House, a name it was to have until 1847 when the 5th Earl Fitzwilliam changed it back again. The Wentworth House is England’s biggest private house.
A few interesting stories about Wentworth-Woodhouse were related by another researcher, who graciously shared them with me. He tells of the passage relating to Wentworth Woodhouse in J.Wentworth Day's book 'Harvest Adventure':
"Wentworth Woodhouse, Earl Fitzwilliam's vast Whig mansion in Yorkshire, is commonly said to be the greatest inhabited house in Britain, and I do not doubt that it is when one considers that the facade is no less than six hundred feet long, there are two hundred rooms and miles of passages. It is a magnificently imposing house, largely designed by Flitcroft, a protege of Lord Burlington. Its courts and buildings cover more than three acres of ground. There were Wentworths of Wentworth, living in their great Saxon wooden hall or "Wood house" in the 13th century, and there they continued until the Wentworth heiress married Thomas Watson, 2nd Lord Rockingham. Another and subsequent heiress brought it to the Fitzwilliams in 1782 and it has been in Wentworth-Fitzwilliam hands ever since.
There is a story that in the old days they kept a sort of running footman on permanent duty in the entrance hall to guide people over the house, and another legend of an Earl Fitzwilliam says that he, wandering about in the cellars or kitchen regions one day, was ordered out by a servant who took him for a suspicious character since he had never seen his master in those remote parts before or, possibly, had never seen him before anywhere! Best of all I like the tale of the American guest who, when he left his bedroom to go down to dinner, took a little axe with him and carefully chipped a piece out of the panelling, doorways, and balusters on his way, thus blazing a trail that would show him the way back to bed. ....the late Earl employed up to two thousand people in the house, gardens, park, woods, and estate building-yards. Many had been there all their lives".
Oliver Wentworth & Jane: Residence at Goxhill, in of Lincolnshire, 40-50 miles from North Elmsall. Lady de Roos, wife of Roger Wentworth, great uncle of Oliver, brought into family the manor of Goxhill & Oliver probably took up residence as agent for estate. His will was dated 7 Dec 1558, & he died shortly thereafter. Will was proved 28 Jan 1559. He was described as "Gentleman" and left legacies to sons William & Francis, and to Oliver, son of former, with the residue of estate going to his wife, Jane.
William Wentworth & Susannah Carter: After birth of Christopher, child #3, this line of the family moved to adjoining hamlet of Rigsby, 2 miles west of Alford. Rigsby Church is now a chapel attached to Alford. The registers were transferred to the custody of the incumbent of Alford, but all records before 1686 were reported lost. Those preserved, were of no value for purpose of investigation. While reviewing Alford volumes, 2 leaves of parchment proved to be portions of the early Rigsby registers covering time from 18 Jan 1617-16 Sep 1621. The last burial recorded was that of Christopher, infant son of William Wentworth & Susannah Carter. This explains the disappearance of the Wentworth name from Alford registers after 1620. ("English Origins of New England Families"; Vol. 3; Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.; p667-668.)
My connection to the Wentworth line is through Susannah Wentworth, daughter of Benjamin, son of William Wentworth, Jr., born in 1616 in England, who emigrated to the colonies prior to 1639, at which time he was an established planter in Exeter, New Hampshire. He was in Preston in 1645; Dover in 1650 per Pioneers on Maine Rivers, by Wilbur Aaniel Spencer, Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc., Baltimore 1973, p. 151; Lake Stevens FHL, Lake Stevens, WA; USA/Maine
320.03. On page 485 of GENEALOGICAL DICTIONARY OF NEW ENGLAND it states that William Wentworth accompanied friend, John Wheelwright across the ocean in 1636. This creates some confusion, because William's father William Wentworth, died in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629.