Richard Seth Worthing
According to Richard Worthing’s obituary, he was born in Wales. His Christening record stated it as, Llananno, Radnorshire, Wales which is now the Powys, or eastern Wales along the English border. Llananno is described as bucolic rolling hills covered with carpets of bluebells and grazing sheep. It is next to the Offa Dyke, the River Ithon, and the ruins of the Castle Bank, sometimes known as Castle Llananno . It is no longer a castle but mainly just a rocky hill sitting on a summit, the remains an ancient Castle called “TY yn y Bwlch”. By 1840, Castle Bank was a manor where locals farmed and took care of the sheep for the owner. Offa’s Dyke is a 50 foot wide dirt well ditch, running along the English Welsh border, built in the 18th century by the Anglo Saxon King Offa of Mercia to keep out the Welsh. A path runs along side it nowadays making it a popular place to hike through the eastern countryside. Richard, his cousin or brother, Thomas Worthing ( depending upon the research ) worked at Castle Bank as day laborers farming. Richard’s future wife Sarah Ingram was a servant girl at the Castle Bank.
At the ages of twenty-four and twenty-five, both young men were married. Richard had married Sarah Ingram and Thomas, Elisabeth George. I envisioned Richard and Thomas sitting by the banks of the River Ithon. They were dusty, dirty and sweaty after a hard days labor in the field planting or harvesting crops for the manor lord, discussing their hopes, dreams, the politics of the day, reflecting on life, and what it would be like to live in America. Dreamers. I think most young men think of their future. America would be the place to be. They both being illegitimate children of Mary Worthin had little chance of owning land or careers in Wales.
”I’ve been reading the ads for farmers to emigrate to America. Sarah’s uncle went and his letters say you can own your own land, acres and acres of it, all yours. We wouldn’t be beholding to the Hamers, the Merredith’s and the Pugh’s”.
Brushing his hair back, Richard with his chiseled jawline and deep set blazing blue eyes, wavy blond hair glittering in the sun, stared intently at Thomas. He took a long pause before he verbalized his feelings.
“I’d like to give Sarah and Sarah Ann a better life. I’ve enough saved to pay our way to America. Besides I just need to talk to John about this. He may have a few sovereigns put aside for emergency and might give me some.
What about you, Thomas?
The Rebecca Riots were taking place in South and Mid Wales at this time. These were a series of protests undertaken by local farmers and agricultural workers in response to a perceived unfair taxation. The firstappearance of Rebecca, as the members called themselves, occurred in 1839. Although this precedes the economic events of 1842, the early appearances of Rebecca were sporadic isolated outbursts, with the true body of rioting not beginning until the winter of 1842. Although these early 'uprisings' were few and uncommon, they were the first appearance of mobs dressed in the guise of Rebecca. These gangs became known as Merched Beca (Welsh for "Rebecca's Daughters") or merely the Rebeccas. The origin of their name is said to be a verse in the Bible, Genesis 24:60 - 'And they blessed Rebekah and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them'. This verse was shouted many a time from the religious urban dwellers. Richard and Thomas were not part of the Rebeccas.Prior to destroying the toll gates, 'Rebecca' would call to his followers who were also dressed as women and perform a scene which involved the following words:
“Rebecca: "What is this my children? There is something in my way. I cannot go on...."
Rioters: "What is it, mother Rebecca? Nothing should stand in your way,"
Rebecca: "I do not know my children. I am old and cannot see well."
Rioters: "Shall we come and move it out of your way mother Rebecca?"
Rebecca: "Wait! It feels like a big gate put across the road to stop your old mother."
Rioters: "We will break it down, mother. Nothing stands in your way."
Rebecca: "Perhaps it will open...Oh my dear children, it is locked and bolted. What can be done?"
Rioters: "It must be taken down, mother. You and your children must be able to pass."
Rebecca: "Off with it then, my children."
This would then in turn lead to the destruction of the toll gates.
Although not all members of the mob would wear women's clothes, those that did, often in white gowns, would also blacken their faces or otherwise wear masks. The attacks were accompanied by much noise; and in the earliest attacks, a mock trial would also take place.
those days in Europe for land owners to father children with their maids and servants. In England and Wales, if the father was known he was sited by the Church and paid support for the child until the age of maturity. We know that Richard’s mother, Mary Worthin, never married Richard Hamer. In 1824 at the age of 36, Mary is married to Edward Crowthers and Richard, Mary, and Edward are all living in the same residence in Llananno. This marriage ended with Mary’s death in 1842. I imagine, having grown up with the stigma of being a bastard child and support supplemented by the bastardy bonds and parish chest, this influenced Richard’s dreams of immigrating to America His lot in life in Wales would have been an agricultural laborer who would never own land.
Richard, Thomas, and Sarah Ingram all worked at the manor. Sarah was a day servant or maid and the daughter of John Ingram the miller. John was a miller by trade in Wales. We don’t know if John was the owner or lessee of the mill. Many farmers had mill rights on their property. It is likely that he was the lessee because the Welsh records show he and his family lived at the corn mill from1841-1851. The Ingrams were Baptists in Wales according to the Maesyrhelem Chapel in Llananno, Radnorshire, Wales. The Ingrams were Baptists in Wales belonging to the Maesyrhelem Chapel in Llananno, Radnorshire, Wales. John was a miller by trade in Wales. Many farmers had mill rights on their property. Some of the mills were agricultural, but theirs was a corn mill. By the 1851 census the Ingrams are gone, but he and his wife, daughter, Elisabeth and her husband Thomas Worthing, Sharlot and her husband George Thomas, Mary and her husband, David Jones, Anne and her husband, Thomas Black, and sons James and Evan with their wives are all farmers and land owners in Guernsey County Ohio.
Little is known about the Jones’, Blacks’ and Thomas’. However, his son James Ingram was born, according to my records, in 1828 in Radnorshire and because of trouble "drinking wine with the maids" came to the US. He paid someone $600 to serve for him in the Civil War. He had four wives: Mary Miller (Wales 1851) Rose Ann Brown(1854 Ohio), whom he married three months after Mary's death, Eleanor Stewart (Miskimens, 1861, Ohio), and Sarah Clark (1861, Coschocton).
I envisioned Richard as a young man falling in love with Sarah while they worked at the manor. I picture Sarah as a girl looking like my Ingram cousins, with deep sky blue eyes, red hair, petite carrying baskets of vegetables and wild flowers through the blue bell fields, picked along the path home to the mill. There probably were not many eliglble, single women in this area for Richard to chose from. We have no information on how Richard and Sarah met but probably while working at the manor. Richard, age 22 and Sarah, age 17 married in 1843. They started their family immediately with the birth of Sarah Ann, February 27, 1844, their first of 15 children of which 9 reached adulthood.
I pictured Richard as an industrious, goal oriented young man, mature beyond his years, falling in love and asking Sarah’s father for her hand in marriage as was the custom in that day. This evoked pictures in my mind of Richard taking Sarah’s hand in his and asking,
“Will you marry me? I love you so much. I promise to give you a better life in America. I’ll take you to America, buy land, and raise our family. After we get there I will send for your family and bring them all to live with us.” That promise was fulfilled when Richard struck it rich in the California gold rush.
John Ingram approved and the banns were announced in the Maesyrhalen, Baptist
Chapel three times over six weeks. Richard belonged to the St. Anno, Church of
England, parish in Llananno but became Baptist when he married Sarah. He was a Baptist for the remainder of his life. I remember as a ten year old girl visiting my Worthing ancestors in Iowa. My mom took us to the Worthing Cemetery in Truro, Madison, Iowa to see the Baptist church she attended as a child and put flowers on the graves of her mom and dad and grandparents. It was a small stone church located in the Worthing Cemetery. In 2001, I went back to that same cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of my grandparents and great grandparents but the little church was no longer there, having been torn down to make room for more family plots. ike many other early cemeteries in Wood County, Lee Cemetery began as a family burial place. David Lee was born in March of 1828 in North Carolina. He and two brothers were farmers near Webster, in Wood County, prior to 1860. David Lee married his wife Susan about 1861 and they had six children. The cemetery originally covered about one acre but has grown considerably over the years with several additions of land.
The most prosperous rural families in this county in the 1840s through the 1860s had family cemeteries located on their property, usually near their home. There were several reasons why early settlers buried their dead in family plots. Often we hear of the isolation caused by the difficulties of travel caused by primitive roads and a lack of bridges over streams. However, the primary reason was simply that when the first settlers arrived, there were no organized communities and cemeteries in existence. Only after communities and churches, along with cemeteries were established that the efficacy of burying people in a central location was realized by local residents. This pattern was not unique to Guernsey County – it was common over the whole of the nation. Most cemeteries in the United States are the final outgrowth of individual burial places on the farms or near the homes of the earliest settlers. Later, the burial places were connected with churches, a custom that is not entirely obsolete, especially in Wood County, where some church graveyards survive.
Emigration to America
Although the number of Welsh people who emigrated to America and Australia in the nineteenth century was far lower than from less industrialised countries, such as Ireland, a significant number did leave Wales in the hope of a better life. It is estimated that about 60,000 people emigrated from Wales to the USA during the period 1850-70.
A number of factors have been suggested for emigration from Wales during the middle years of the nineteenth century. Many of the Welsh tenant farmers and farm laborers were living in poverty. Also, the unstable market in coal and steel meant that employment for many steelworkers and miners was unreliable.
When radical figures, such as Samuel Roberts ('SR'; 1800-85) and Michael D. Jones (1822-98) spoke in favor of emigration, many were ready to listen. It was often seen as an opportunity to own land at a time when most land in Wales was owned by the gentry, while others headed for the mines and quarries of the industrial areas.
Many of these emigrants to America made their way to the existing Welsh communities, such as Cambria in Pennsylvania, Gallia in Ohio and Oneida in New York State. So many Welsh people migrated to Wisconsin that the state's constitution was translated into Welsh.
There were no railways at that time.
If they did have furniture to take they would have used a wagon.
However most people at that time would have just taken hand luggage.
They might have used pack horses.
I am sure they would have walked to Newtown and possibly might have walked all the way.
They might have hitched a lift from Newtown on a travelling wagon. Roads would have been bad to travel anyway.
They would then travel to Welshpool, Oswestry, Wrexham, Chester, Liverpool.