The name Worthington is derived from three Saxon words, "Wearth in ton," that is, "Farm in town," signifying a farm which formed part of a town or village, and as a surname was derived from the town or locality where those assuming it resided at the time surnames were addopted. Twenty miles northeast of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, England, is the town or village of Worthington, in the hundred of Ledyard, parish of Standish. Here and in the adjoining territory resided the family of Worthington, founded in thta name in the time of the Plantaganets, and for many genertions of high repute, the elder male line being raced back to Worthington de Worthington, who was proprietor of Worthington Manor in the reign of Henry III., 1236-37, and as the progenitor of all the Worthingtons of Lancashire. The old manor house of Worthington, the residence of the family for seven years, was pulled down about half century ago.
In the first quarter of the eighteenth century we find John, Thomas and Samuel Worthington resident in Byberry township, Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, all members of the Society of Friends, at Abington monthly meeting, but worshipping at the old Byberry meetinghouse, then under the jurisdiction of Abington monthly meeting. Tradition relates that they were all natives of Lancashire, and that they came to Pennsylvania about 1703. However, since none of them were more than ten years of age at that date, if the statement is true they must have been accompanied to this country by parents or other relatives in the nature of guardians.
(I) John Worthington, ancestor of the subject of this sketch, was born in Lancashire, England, about the year 1697. He was a resident of Byberry township, Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, when he married there in 1720, Mary, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Paxson) Walmsley, of Byberry, and granddaughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Walmsley, who with their six minor children were among a group of members of Settle monthly meeting, Lancashire, who secured a certificate from that meeting in 182, and, removing to Pennsylvania, settled in Bucks county, where Thomas died soon after his arrival. John Worthington's name appears among the list of the members of Byberry preparative meeting who contributed to the fund for maintaining the poor in 172, and he continued prominent in the affairs of that section until his death, January 14, 1777, at about the age of eighty years. John Worthington was a weaver and farmer, and spent his whole life on his plantation in the northern end of Byberry township. His wife, Mary (Walmsley) Worthington, died April 18, 1754. The births of their six sons and five daughters are of record on the registry of Abington monthly meeting. Five of the sons and at least three of the daughters married and reared children, and all have left numerous descendants. Three of the sons, William, Isaac and Joseph, removed in middle life to that part of Buckingham township, Bucks county, bordering on Wrightstown township, and many of the descendants of William and Joseph have ever since been residents of these two townships, Isaac removing later to Chester county.
(II) William, sixth child and third son of Thomas and Mary (Walmsley) Worthington, was born in Byberry township, Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, September 20, 1732, and continued to reside in that township until 1770 when he removed to Buckingham township, Bucks county, whither he had been preceded by his two younger brothers, Joseph and Isaac. He purchased a farm on the line of Wrightstown township of his brother Isaac, and later purchased considerable other land adjoining, partly in both township,s and became on of the principal landowners and prominent men of his section. He was a birthright member of Abington monthly meeting of Friends, but was married at the Dutch Reformed Church, of North and Southampton, March 18, 1764, to Esther Homer, also a member of Abington meeting. For this breach of the "good order maintained among Friends" complaint was brought to the monthly meeting by Byberry meeting, December 31, 1764, and they were "dealt with" by the meeting, but finally acknowledged their sorrow for the breach of discipline in a manner satisfactory to the meeting. On December 30, 1770, they obtained a certificate which included their four minor children, Mary, William, Jesse and John, to Wrightstown monthly meeting, Bucks county, with which they and their descendants were thereafter ssociated to the present time. There [sic] other children, Benjamin, Hiram and Esther, were born to them in Buckingham. William Worthington died on his plantation in Lower Buckingham, near the present village of Wycombe, December 6, 1816, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. His widow Esther survived until January 23, 1832, at the age of eighty-nine years.
(III) Benjamin, son of William and Esther (Homer) Worthington, was born in Buckingham township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, soon after the settlement of his parents in that township, about the year 1771. He married, October 21, 1795, Mary, daughter of Watson and Ruth (Bradshaw) Wedling, of the "Rush Valley Mills," Wrightstown township, and took up his residence on a portion of his father's plantation in Buckingham, which he inherited at his father's death in 1816. He died in Buckingham, April 26, 1852. He and his wife were members of Wrightstown Friends' meeting, on the registry of which appears the record of the birth of their eight children, four of whom died before their parents. Mary (Welding) Worthington died September 1, 1840. She was a great-granddaughter of Ely Welding, a native of New Jersey, who came to Buckingham from Abington in 1723 and died there about 1760, and his wife Elizabeth Beale. John Welding, son of Ely, married Hannah Watson of Chesterfield, Burlington county, New Jersey, in 1747, and settled there the following year. He died prior to 1760, and his son Watson Welding returned to Buckingham and married, in 1771, Ruth, daughter of James and Ruth (Lowder) Bradshaw, of Upper Buckingham. He inherited the lands of his grandfather in Buckingham, but in 1793 purchased the historic old mills at Rushland, long known as Mitchell's Mills, in Wrightstown, on the old Swamp road. Watson Welding died in Wrightstown, December 6, 1817. His wife Ruth died August 19, 1804.
(IV) Amasa, fourth child and eldest son of Benjamin and Mary (Welding) Worthington, was born in Lower Buckingham, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1802. On April 7, 1832, his father and mother conveyed to him the homestead farm, on which he resided until 1851, when he purchased a large farm at the Chain Bridge over the Neshaminy, in Wrightstown, extending across the Neshaminy into Northampton township, and settled thereon. He owned at different periods several other properties in Buckingham, and was prominent in the affairs of the community in which he lived. He married Amy, daughter of John Spencer, of a family long prominent in middle Bucks county, and both were active and consistent members of Wrightstown Friends' meeting. He died on his plantation at Chain Bridge, in Wrightstown, August 21, 1877. Amasa and Amy (Spencer) Worthington had seven children who survived them, viz.: Sarah, widow of James Slack, deceased, a veteran of the civil war; Mary Louise, unmarried; Thaddeus S., born February 19, 1840, a farmer in Warwick township, Bucks county; Benjamin, who acquired the Chain Bridge homestead at the deatah of his father in 1877, and died there ten years later; Lucretia M., wife of Henry C. Buckman, farmer of Wrightstown; John Spencer, of whom presently; and Annie, unmarried. Mrs. Sarah (Worthington) Slack and her two unmarried sisters, Mary Louise and Annie Worthington, have resided since the death of their brother Benjamin at 106 Chancellor street, Newtown, Bucks county.
(V) John Spencer, sixth child and youngest son of Amasa and Amy (Spencer) Worthington, was born in Buckingham township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, March 15, 1848, but was reared on the old homestead at Chain Bridge, Wrightstown township, where his parents removed when he was three years of age. He received his education in the public schools, and when young man engaged in the ice business, erecting large ice houses on the Neshaminy, near Neshaminy Falls, and shipping the ice to Philadelphia, where he did a large and profitable business. In 1899 he organized the Jefferson Ice Manufacturing Company, of which he was president until his death in 1905. This company was the largest retail ice dealers in Philadelphia. He also established and carried on a large coal and feed business in Philadelphia. In 1904 Mr. Worthington removed to Burlington, New Jersey, and established the plant of the Diamond Plate Ice Company