First Generations:

What do we know about Samuel Langworthy (ca 1662) and his family?

Revised October 2014


In November, 1716 John Phillips, his wife Ruth, and Joseph Crandall all testified that Samuel was the oldest son of Andrew Langworthy, that he had lived in Newport and died at Pettaquamscutt. (Land and Notarial Records of Rhode Island, Book 3, p.251)

This shows not only that Samuel was Andrew's son, but that there were other sons as well.

Other than the above statements, we know very little about Samuel. William Franklin Langworthy (WFL) cites a family tradition that Samuel was a mariner, and this might account for the lack of records, which often derived from real estate.

Here's what we know - or guess - about Samuel:

  • Because Samuel was the oldest son of Andrew and Rachel, and M was apparently born ca 1660, a birth date of ca 1602 seems reasonable - but it's a guess.
  • Austin, Torrey and several genealogies say that Samuel married Rachel X on July 21, 1680. All of those which give sources, including Torrey, cite Austin 's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (1887). So we have no primary source of this information.
  • There are no records which show that Samuel had children. Austin (Genealogical Dictionary of RI) and Cutter (New England Families) say that his children were Ann, John , Thomas, Joseph, Samuel, Robert and Mary, but William Franklin Langworthy's book, The Langworthy Family (1940), states that only Ann, Samuel and Rachel were his children. Most works written after 1940 - including this web site - have accepted WFL's account as reasonable, but it's important to realize that there's no proof of his statement. It may turn out that WFL was right, or that there were other children, or that there were none!
  • Samuel died before Nov 28, 1711 when another Samuel Langworthy, of Westerly, bought land as the grandson and heir of Andrew Langworthy of Newport.

Samuel's children:

Several Samuels appear in the following discussion. To keep them separate, and to make the argument clear, I'll append a birth date to the name. So the Samuel we've discussed above will be Samuel (ca 1662).

As mentioned above, there is no proof of WFL's assertion that Samuel (ca 1662) had three children. But I'd guess that he's right, at least about a son whom I'll call Samuel(ca 1689):

From a land transaction in Westerly dated Nov 28, 1711, we know that Samuel (ca 1689) was the grandson of Andrew Langworthy of Newport. But:

  • He wasn't the son of James, because we have James' family Bible with a list of his children, and Samuel wasn't among them.
  • He wasn't the son of Andrew, because Samuel wasn't listed as an heir in Robert Brownell's will.
  • He might have been a son of John, but there are no sons named John for four generations of Samuel's descendants, so it's unlikely.

In summary, WFL's statement that Samuel (ca1689) was the son of Samuel (ca 1662) is likely to be right - though it's still possible that Andrew and Rachel had an unknown son who was the father of Samuel (ca 1689).

The birth date of ca 1689 for Samuel is derived from the following:

  • Samuel Hubbard's memorial stone, probably erected ca September 1688, said that Andrew and Rachel Langworthy had 10 children (7 living, 3 dead), but no grandchildren.
  • Samuel the grandson of Andrew bought land in Westerly in 1711, so he must have been 21 at the time, hence born before 1690.
and this drives the probable birth date of ca 1689.

This date of birth creates an awkward time line, because WFL says that this Samuel married Mary Crandall in 1736. But Samuel(ca 1689) would have been 47 when he married Mary, and 63 when his last child was born. This is certainly possible, but it should be noted that there's room for another generation here. For example, suppose:

  • Samuel (ca 1689), married at 21 (1710) and had a son named Samuel, born ca 1712.
  • Samuel (ca 1712) would have been 24 if he married Mary Crandall in 1736.

The early records of Westerly provide no reason to prefer either the "one Samuel" or "two Samuels" version of the story. This web site will follow the "one Samuel" version, as it appears in William Franklin Langworthy's book, until there is some evidence to the contrary.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't relate another version of this family's history. It appears in Hurd's "History of New London County, Connecticut" (1882), p727, and is attributed to Henry D. Langworthy, a descendant of Samuel:

" Samuel, grandfather of Henry, was a farmer in Hopkinton... His father, Samuel, the immigrant, was brought, a child, from England by his uncle Joseph to Newport, RI and put out as an apprentice. Joseph wished to secure certain properties for himself, and expected that Samuel would never more be heard from. Samuel survived his apprenticeship, married, had two sons - Samuel and Joseph. He resided all his life near Newport."

So it appears that at least one branch of the family thought that the Samuel Langworthy who married Mary Crandall was an immigrant, not a descendant of Andrew and Rachel.

Once we get to Samuel and Mary (Crandall) Langworthy, the documentation improves and tracing their descendants is relatively easy. It's just the steps from Samuel and Rachel to Samuel and Mary that need some work.

To go to the family card of Samuel (ca 1662) and his wife Rachel, click here.

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