First Generations:

What do we know about John Langworthy (ca 1664) and his family?

Revised October 2014

As William Franklin Langworthy (WFL) said in 1940, not much is known about John Langworthy of Newport or about his descendants, and that's still true. Here's a summary:

  • He was probably born ca 1664, given that Samuel (the oldest son) was probably born ca 1662, and that John's wife (see below) was born ca 1662. WFL argued for an earlier date based on his belief that this was the same John Langworthy who was at the garrison at Westfield, MA in 1676, but in my opinion, that's unlikely:
    • In 1676 John would have been at most 16 even if he were born in 1660. The records show that on July 24, 1676, John was the ONLY soldier at Westfield, and this was the first record of a garrison there. It seems very unlikely to me that a sixteen year old from Rhode Island would be sent alone to start a garrison in Massachussetts.
    • Boston records show that a John Langworthy was on the tax list for 1674 and witnessed a deed in 1675, so this John Langworthy must have been born before 1654. This John, or his relative, is a better candidate for the man at Westfield. You can find more about John Langworthy of Boston at "Immigrants to America before 1750".
  • John's wife was Elizabeth Witter. This comes from an old account book that's been passed down in the Witter family, and is reprinted in NEH&GR (V81, p.357):
    "Elizabeth Married a Langworthy afterward a Crandal Bare Children by Langworthy & Died about the year 1733 In the 72nd year of her Age."
    From this statement we learn that Elizabeth was born ca 1662, and that John and Elizabeth had children.
  • John died before Sept 30, 1700, when a committee of the Sabbatarian church was "appointed to visit Elizabeth Langworthy, John's widow, to enquire into her state and proceed therein as the Lord shall direct".

John's children:

Although we know that John Langworthy had children, there's no record of who they were. William Franklin Langworthy (WFL) asserts that the John Langworthy who appears in Westerly by 1716, was one of them. It's a reasonable assumption and is adopted by this site although, again, there's no proof.

This second John, as a grandson of Andrew Langworthy of Newport, must have been born after 1688. On the other hand, we know from the will of Daniel Lewis that this John had married Mary Lewis before 1717. If we assume that he was at least 21 at that time, he would have been born before 1696. Splitting the difference gives an estimate of 1692 for the year of his birth.

In a deed dated Dec 15, 1735, John Langworthy, cordwinder (cordwainer), sold 24 acres to Danll Lewis (Westerly Deeds, Vol 6, p.397). This implies that John was a leatherworker or shoemaker, probably in addition to having a small farm.

John's will, dated 1748, names a son John and daughter Mary, wife of Nathan Lanphere.

John's grandchildren:

We know very liitle about this third John.:

  • The Westerly records show the marriage of John Langworthy and Abigail Munro in 1742. Presumably, it was this third John.
  • The Westerly Town Council granted a certificate to John Langworthy his wife and family to move from Westerly to Charlestown, Rhode Island, March 27, 1749.

Nothing more is known of John's descendants. I'd assume that there weren't many named Langworthy, because nearly all modern Langworthys can be shown to be descendants of Samuel, Andrew or James.

To go to the family card of John (ca 1662) and his wife Elizabeth Witter, click here, or

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