Caleb Haworth's Letters to Haworths in America


Editor's Notes:

Caleb Haworth, of England, wrote a number of letters to Haworth family members in America.  These letters were read at the 1899 national reunion.  We have the text of those letter here, for  ease of reading.  We have also included , see below, four pages from James Rogers Haworth's text, which includes one of those letters.  Ron Haworth, editor

Letter of Caleb Haworth of England, to George Haworth, Quaker Point, Indiana, 1826:

To George Haworth, Quaker Point, Indiana,

on the Border of Illinois North America

Halifax, Yorkshire, England

9th Month, 25th, 1826

Dear Friend:--It was with much pleasure, the intelligence of thee through our much valued Friend, Elizabeth Robson, who has been visiting the Churches in your Land. From her account I am inclined to think thou art a descendant of my Grandfather's Uncle George Haworth, who emigrated to America in 1699, and respecting whose descendants our Family has heard nothing since 1745. A letter from his nephew, John Myers, of that date addressed to my Great Grandfather, James Haworth, contains the following account: "Uncle George's children are all living. I heard from them all last Spring by their Uncle John Scarbro, three of them, to-wit, Stephanus, Absalom and John, are removed into Virginia to a place called Opeckan; the two first are married amongst Friends, the other three named James, Mary and George live in Bucks County amongst their friends and their mother is married to one Hall." From this thou wilt be able to judge whether thou art related to our Family or not.

I shall be glad to find this to be the case, and if so I suppose thou wilt be a Grandson of George Haworth above mentioned who emigrated to America. We have several letters from him, from 1699 to 1720 and after his death the correspondence was continued by his sister Mary Myers and her son John, to 1745. In one letter George mentions his cousin James Haworth and wife who lived near him in Bucks County and that they had a daughter. I purpose sending thee a copy of these letters at a future time as they contain many interesting particulars relating to George's passage " settlement and family. He had a sister who emigrated before himself and whose descendants are some of them resident in and about Philadelphia, and one who resides in England. Samuel Bowland Fisher of Philadelphia, the late Myers Fisher, of the same place, and the late Joshua Bowland, who is mentioned in Robert Sutcliffes Travels in American, are amongst the number of her descendants, but I have not yet got sufficient information to connect the present generation with the preceding. They are therefore left out of the Pedigree sent thee herewith, which is only a rough sketch, but sufficient for the present purposes as I can furnish thee with letter hereafter.

From it thou wilt see that we have several near relatives in and about Philadelphia and with whom we are in correspondence. I don't know how thou spells thy name, but from George Haworth's letters I find he used to spell his name sometimes Haworth, sometimes Howarth, and at other time Heyworth. The first I believe is the correct mode, the two last are corruptions.

Our Family has always been remarkable (with the single exception of myself) for tall person, many of them measuring six feet and upwards; in my Great Grandfather's days that branch of the family living at Bentleywood Green were distinguished (in Lancashire brogue) by the name of the Poull (pole) Haworths, from their being so tall, and another branch living at Childrens Green were for the same reason ironically called the Little-On's. Indeed, irony and wit are very characteristic of the family and the present generation displays no small share of both talents and several of them have a talent for Poetry. But it will be more agreeable to thee to know that some of them possess talent a higher nature. I have been concerned to dedicate them to the service of the Great Master. My dear father was early called into the vineyard and has for a long series of years been a faithful and deeply exercised labourer therein.

I shall be glad to receive an account of thy Family and Ancestors as far back as thou canst trace them with the Births, marriages and Deaths, places of Residence and business whether Members of Society or not, as far as may be in thy power and I shall be glad to know what means of communication you have with Philadelphia or New York. I have been wondering how thou got into Indiana but it has just occurred to me that if thou art one of the descendants of Stephanus, Absalom or John Haworth who removed into Virginia, thou mayst have gone with a body of Friends from that state who we heard of removing to Ohio or thereabouts.

I purpose sending this to Cousin George Robinson, currier, of Philadelphia, 109 Chestnut Street, for him to forward to thee. I hope thou wilt take an early opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of this and if there appears to be any relationship between us I hope the correspondence will be kept up. All our Relations in England live near together and we are generally much united.

My wife joins me in love to thee and thine, and remain, Thy sincere friend,

Caleb Haworth




By Caleb Haworth, England

It is often difficult to ascertain precisely the origin of name either local or personal, as from the mixed state of our language, and the repeated variations in its orthography, the etymology of many words is rendered dubious. The higher we ascend towards the origin of local names the less they are modified, and the greater is the probability that any person was really born at the place whose name he bore. Many persons, after the introduction of the feudal system into England, dropt their family names, and secured local ones, which was the case with Monks of several centuries. WHITAKER’S HISTORY of Whalley. The name of Haworth is supposed to have been originally local, but afterwards assumed as a family name with the word "de" before it, which in process of time was discontinued. There is reason to believe it originated in the Saxon word, haeg, which signifies merely a hedge, which was softened down into the old French haie, or haye. The word is of great extent and frequently appears in the composition of local names amongst us under its dialectical varieties of hey, hay, hawe, hag, haigh. All its other varieties are to be traced to two sources, according as places happened to be more strongly tinctured with the old language of the country, or that which succeeded it. Thus the Hawthorn is the Hedge Thorn and the Hagber. Hence the boundaries of the King's Forests were formerly denominated Haiee Dominicales, but by an easy metonymy the word was transferred from the enclosing fence to the area enclosed by it. These were sometimes woods, pastures, or parks, as Haza de Burchenwoods, the Hawe Park of Skipton Castle, etc., WHITAKERS'S HISTORY of Whalley. The word Hawe implies a close or parcel of land, and Worth signifies a way, a street, a farm, a court, a field, etc., from which no doubt the word Haworth has been formed.

A family of this name appears to have resided for several centuries at Great Haworth, near Rockdale which ended about fifty years ago in Radcliff Haworth, L.L.D., fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. One of this family was Robert de Haworth, a monk of the cistertian order who, in 1272, was elected Abbott of Stanian, in Cheshire, which office he held several years, but afterwards resigned it. After the translation of this abbey to Whalley, in 1296, it seems to have subsisted only as a small cell, or hermitage, down to the general disolution, and was occupied by six or seven of the fraternity who remained there under the government of their old Abbott, Robert de Haworth, who died, according to a M.B. in the Cotton Library, 10 Kal, Mail 1304, WHITAKERS' HISTORY of Whalley.

It appears from the Parish registers that about the latter end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries, several families of this name resided in the neighborhood of Haslingden, and still greater number in the Parish of Rockdale, and forest of Rossen dale, where many of their numerous descendants remain to this day. Amongst a multitude of families of the same name, and residing at the same parish, and the imperfect state of the Parochial registers for the first century after their commencement, and with little or no other guide, I have found it difficult to trace the true line of our ancestry further back than the middle of the 17th century, about which time it appears from some written documents, as also from the testimony of John Collins, John Rawcliffe and other aged persons attended with other corroborating circumstances, that our ancestors were James and Isabelle his wife, who resided at Rockcliffe, near Bacup, in the Parish of Rockdale, at which place he died about 1684, leaving six children, viz., Mary, Sarah, Susannah, George, James, and another daughter whose name cannot be ascertained. For an account of their descendants see the pedigree. The said Isabelle Haworth, after her said husband's death, married one John Ormerod, but had not issue by him. The first mentioned James Haworth had two brothers, Henry and William, both of whom were married. Henry had two children, Elizabeth and Henry, hereafter more particularly mentioned, and William had one son names James, who emigrated to America about the latter end of the 17th Century, and resided in Philadelphia. He was married and had one daughter, but nothing further is known of the family.

Mary, the daughter of the said James and Isabelle Haworth married one John Myers, and both emigrated to America about the year 1697 or 1698. They at first resided on the sea coast bordering on the State of Maryland at a place called Harbills, where he followed the business of a Hatter. It is not known how long they remained here. But, in 1725, Mary resided at Lewistown in Pennsylvania, her husband having been then dead about five years, and left four children, viz., John, James, Mary and Sarah, two others having died in infancy. For an account of their descendants see the pedigree. Mary appears to have joined Friends many years before her husband’s death. He seemed more inclined to the Church of England. She died about the year 1728 and was buried at Lewistown in a piece of ground given by her for a Friends' Burial Ground.

George Haworth (George the Emigrant), son of the said James and Isabelle Haworth, also emigrated to America, in the year 1699, in company with one of his sisters and her husband, who both died on their passage, she having borne a child which died a few days after. And the ship in which they went being so extremely crowded with people and the weather hot caused a great mortality among them, there dying in the ship about 56 persons and at shore about 20 more, after a hard passage of 14 weeks. The said George Haworth on his arrival in America lived a short time in Philadelphia, with his cousin James Haworth, son of William Haworth before mentioned, but soon after went to reside in the County of Bucks, where he purchased about 450 acres of land in the woods which employed a part of his time in clearing. He also followed linen weaving. About the year 1710 he married a Friend of the name of Scarbro, a native of Pennsylvania, but her parents were natives of London. George died the 28th of the Eleventh month 1724 leaving a widow and six children, viz., Stephanus, Absalom, John, James, Mary and George. The three first, after their father deceased, removed to Apeckon, in Virginia, the other three settled among their friends in Bucks County, and their mother afterwards married a Friend of the name of Hall. No further accounts of their descendants have been received.

Sarah Haworth, another daughter of the said James and Isabelle Haworth, married Isaac Collins, of Hampton, and her descendants are many of them now living in that neighborhood.

Susannah, another daughter of said James and Isabelle Haworth, married a person of the name of Shaw and had one son named James, of whom nothing further is known than that he was living in 1705 and was one of the heirs in the lease of Hapton Halls estate.

James Haworth, my great grandfather, and his brother George were both convinced of the principles of Friends when young men and probably, while they lived at Rockcliffe from which place James removed with his mother to Patron Grove, in Hapton, originally I should suppose Porters Gate, and if so probably one of the ancient Gates into Hapton Park, as there is another place yet bearing the name of Park Gate. In 1704 he lived at Rileys, in Haberghan Eaves and in 1705 he leased the estate called Hapton Hall for 37 pounds and 24 days rent service and several Boons during the lives of himself and his two nephews James Shaw and John Collins. His mother died in 1707, was buried in Friend's Burial Ground at Marsden. In 1709 be married Ellen Blakey, of Marsden Meeting, who died the year following, leaving no children. In 1712 he married his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of his Uncle Henry Haworth before mentioned, by whom he had four children, viz; James, Elizabeth, George and Henry. James died an infant. Elizabeth married Richard Fort of Hard and had several children, and many of their descendants are now living. George married Martha Rawcliffe, sister of John Rawcliffe before mentioned, by whom he had nine children, viz; James, John, Elizabeth, Martha, Mary, George, Henry, Jonathan and Susannah.

Henry Haworth (my grandfather, Caleb Haworth), married Elizabeth, daughter of James and Ellen Tapper, of Northwood, by whom be had three children, viz; Elizabeth, James and George. Elizabeth and George are both deceased. James is living. Henry, the son of Henry Haworth before mentioned, married Mary, and by her had four children, viz; Elizabeth, Mary, George and John. The two latter died infants. Elizabeth married Robert Foular, of Hapton, by whom she had three children. After her death the said Robert Foular married his former wife's sister, but she bad no issue.

by Caleb Haworth, England

Text by James Rogers Haworth


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