Worlands in Cambridgeshire (Meldreth, Melbourn, Harston, Wimpole, Foxton)

The information on this page has been collated from a number of sources including (a) Austin Worland Hill in the mid 1990s, (b) the Meldreth History webpage, (c) Melbourn, Cambridgeshire Church records, (d) Richard and Peter Worland in Australia in 2013, (e) Anne Roach and (f) Vicki Doody.

There are several Worland families in the Cambridgeshire area, all described on this page:

Each of these locations is relatively close to one another - see the map below. DNA testing of current descendents may be the only way to confirm a relationship, if any, between these families.

The earliest known Worland family in Meldreth, Cambridgeshire

According to Kathryn Betts on the Meldreth, Cambridgeshire, History site, '... members of the Worland family first arrived in the village during the seventeenth century. Other Worland families were also found in nearby villages, particularly Melbourn, Bassingbourn and Foxton.'

The Meldreth history site notes that the earliest recorded Worland in Meldreth was Thomas Worland (1670, Little Staughton - 1714, Meldreth). Thomas Worland married Elizabeth Gore (1670 - 2 November 1728, Meldreth) on 20 June 1687 in Shelton (Source: Meldreth History website. Little Staughton is about 40 kms north west of the Meldreth/Melbourn/Foxton area). Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children, all probably born in Meldreth:

Thomas and Elizabeth Worland's son Joseph Worland (1703 - 1761) married Elizabeth Pike (1703 - May 1770, Meldreth) on 9 October 1737 in Meldreth and they had four children, all born in Meldreth. It is interesting to note that Joseph and Elizabeth were apparently in their 40s when their last child was born (assuming this information is correct and not missing a generation):

Families of brothers Thomas Worland (1739 - 1828) and Joseph Worland (Abt 1745 - ?) - Melbourn

The Adams Family of Melbourn

Ann Adams (1741 - 1771) was the daughter of Mary Ginn (born 1710) and Robert Adams, a butcher, who married in Melbourn in 1735. Mary Ginn's parents were Robert Ginn of Melbourn and Jane Burton; they married in Cambridge in 1705 and had a large number of children. Robert Ginn 'was descended from the Ginn family of Anstey in Herts - he was of yeoman stock', according to Mike Taylor.

Mary and Robert Adams had two daughters, Sarah and Ann (born 1741). Robert died the same year that Ann was born, leaving Mary a widow with a young daughter and a baby (Ann). Mary later married Samuel Jarman (a yeoman farmer) at Melbourne in 1755.

Thomas Worland (1739 - 1828) and Ann Adams

Thomas Worland was the son of Joseph Worland (1703 - 1761) and Elizabeth Pike (1702 - 1770). Ann Adams (born 1741) and Thomas Worland may have known each other growing up in Melbourn. They married in Melbourn by licence on 25 November 1762 (the year after Thomas' father died). The witnesses to the wedding were John Dodson and George Plaw. They had two children:

Thomas' mother Elizabeth (nee Pike) died in 1770.

Ann Worland (surname noted as WOLLAND) died in December 1771, and was buried in January 1772, when her two children were only small. Perhaps connected with this, Thomas and Ann's daughter Sarah Worland (surname also noted as WOLLAND) died not longer after and was buried in May 1772.

As his own parents had already died, Ann's mother Mary and her second husband Samuel may have offered, or been asked, to care of young Joseph Worland in Melbourn, allowing Thomas to return to Meldreth to re-marry. He married Mary Habbis on 3 November 1776 in Meldreth and they had the following children, all born in Meldreth:

Ann Worland's mother, Mary Jarman/Adams (nee Ginn) died in Melbourn in 1782, aged 72, when Joseph Worland was 16.

It is interesting to note that, by the time their son Joseph was 28 (and perhaps having started his own family) another Worland family claim that their family arrived there from Somerset - see below.

Joseph Worland (1745 - ) and Ann Adams

Joseph Worland (1745 - ), believed to be the younger brother of Thomas Worland (1739 - 1828) and born in 1745, married Ann Winter on 19 September 1778 in Melbourn. The witnesses to the wedding were Thomas Stockbridge and Wiliam Neaves. Interestingly, one William Neaves was a witness to the marriage of Joseph's nephew and Thomas' son Joseph Worland in 1797. Joseph and Ann had at least one child:

Worland family - Wimpole

According to this site on the National Library of Australia, sourced to Brenda Cox, a Christopher Worland was born in Wimpole, Cambridgeshire in 1754.

According to Brenda Cox, Christopher Worland was transported to Australia abt 1803/4 by Quarter Sessions Court Cambridgeshire. He then returned to Wimpole and married Ann Papworth. They had a daughter, Anne Worland. Unfortunately, James died soon after his return, in 1813, leaving Ann a widow with a young daughter. Their daughter Anne married James Reed of Littlebury Essex. Further details are contained in the link above.

Willam Worland and Mary Housman - Meldreth

One William Worland married Mary Housman on 7 September 1783 and had the following children, all born in Meldreth. William's relationship with the other Worland families in Meldreth is not yet known.

The Worland family of Somerset (?) and move to Melbourn

According to the late Austin Hill, the Worland family was associated with farming peasantry in the County of Somerset, Southern England and moved to Mebourn, Cambridgeshire in the late 1700's. The earliest known Worland in Somerset was said to be David Worland (1670 - 1741), a merchant. Other Worlands in Somerset were believed to have been artisans and carpenters. These details have not been confirmed from other documentary sources and appear to be contrary to evidence of Worland families already living in Cambridgeshire at the time.

David Worland had the following children:

David Worland's son, Joseph Worland (1698 - 1769) married Mary Beecham in 1721 and they had the following children:

Joseph and Mary Worland's son David Worland (1723 - 1801) married Ann Shaw in 1748 and they had the following children:

In 1794, David Worland senior (1723 - 1801) apparently moved from Somerset to Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. His son, also named David Worland (1762 - ?), was a apparently merchant businessman in Melbourn and had at least three sons. One of these sons was said to have become a chair of history at Cambridge University, another was said to have become a surgeon in London. (No further details are known). It seems an extraordinary coincidence that a Worland family from Somerset would happen to move to a village (Melbourn) next to a nearby town (Meldreth) with an already established Worland family.

Joseph Worland (1750 - 1827), the son of David and Ann Warland, married Maud Ingham in 1777 and they had the following children, all born in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, England:

According to Austin Hill, Joseph and Maud's son David Worland (1781 - 1851) married Isabella Maud Little and had three children:

Family of Joseph Worland (1766 - 1836) and Elizabeth Merry - Melbourn

Joseph Worland (1766, Melbourn - December 1836, Melbourn), the son of Thomas Worland (1739 - 1828) and Ann Adams (abt 1740 - Dec 1771), married Elizabeth Merry (Abt 1777 - October 1840) on 3 December 1797 in Melbourn. The witnesses to the wedding were William Baker and William Neaves. They had the following children:

Joseph Worland, aged 70, was buried on 9 December 1836 in Melbourn. His wife, Elizabeth Worland, nee Merry, aged 63, was buried on 7 October 1840 in Melbourn.

Abbis Worland (1781 - 1839) - Meldreth

Abbis Worland was the younger half-brother of Joseph Worland (1766 - 1836) of Melbourn. He married Elizabeth Cornish (1783 - Dec 1823) in Meldreth on 30 December 1806 and they had the following children, all born in Meldreth:

Abbis and Elizabeth's son William Worland (1809/10 - 1887) married Susannah Chappell (Abt 1809 - March 1879 in Meldreth and they had the following children:

The family appear to be listed as Warland in the 1841 census.

John Worland and Rebecca Bangle - Harston

One John Worland married Rebecca Bangle on 15 October 1810 in Harston, Cambridgeshire, UK (not far from Meldreth and Melbourn) and had the following children. It is not yet known if or how John Worland may be connected with the Meldreth or Melbourn Worland families. (Details provided by the descendant of Frederick Worland in Australia).

Edward Worland and family - Shepreth / Foxton

According to Vicki Doody (nee Worland), the earliest known 'Worland' in her line is Edward Walland (b 1784) who came from Shepreth, less than a mile to the west from Foxton (suggesting a likely connection with other Worland families). On 9 December 1806, Edward Walland (later written as Worland) married Susan Loats/Leats. Edward and Susan Walland had two children:

Susan died aged 40 on 9 April 1812. Edward Walland then re-married to Keziah Malin on 5 November 1812. Neither could write and had to sign their mark. The witnesses were Thomas Levey and Elizabeth Fathom (?). Keziah was a widower who already had had two children, only one of whom was alive when she married Edward:

Edward and Keziah Walland had one child together:

Keziah Walland (nee Malin) died in 1816 in Foxton when her own son John was only 8 and her son with Edward was only 3. After a four year break, on 9 September 1820 Edward Walland then re-married the woman who would become his daughter Sarah's mother in law, Elizabeth Blows (nee Evans) at Shepreth. The witnesses were Elizabeth Wood and Ann Hurlock. Elizabeth clearly had at least one child - William Blows - from a previous marriage and this is likely how the two children ended up together as husband and wife.

Myhill Cooper (1770, Foulmere - 1834), whose daughter Elizabeth is mentioned below, married Amelia Warren (1786, Walden, Essex - ) some time before 1817 and they had the following children.

Myhill Cooper owned a small acreage near Foxton and worked on the farm. He died on 15 March 1834 at Foxton. His wife Amelia was the Publican at the White Horse Inn Hotel in Foxton.

Edward Walland's wife, Elizabeth Walland (nee Evans, later Blows), is believed to have died in 1837. She does not appear in the 1841 census, which shows Edward and son Joseph living with Edward's daughter Susan and her husband (Elizabeth's son) William Blows and their family.

During 1845, Elizabeth (Betsy) Cooper had a relationship with a man and conceived a son named Edgar Cooper (1 February 1846, Foxton - 18 July 1906, Euroa, Victoria, Australia). Myhill Cooper's wife Amelia, was listed as the Publican of the White Horse Inn in Foxton in the 1851 census. She was assisted by her children in this role. She died on 26 June 1852 in Foxton.

On 27 July 1854, Edward's son with Keziah Malin, Joseph Edward Worland (10 September 1813 - 13 February 1896, Clarendon, Australia), married the youngest daughter of Myhill and Amelia Cooper, Elizabeth (Betsy) Catherine Cooper (1826, Foxton - ) from Hinxton in the parish of Foxton. The marriage was witnessed by Edward Worland (Joseph's father, now written as Worland not Walland) and the bride's brother Myhill Cooper. John Blows and Sarah Davies were also present. Joseph signed with his mark but Elizabeth Cooper was able to sign the marriage certificate. Betsy already had a son called Edgar Cooper when she married Joseph - see below for further details.

Edward Walland was believed to have died on 15 July 1849 in Royston, but this seems unlikely given he was at his son's weding in 1854.

In addition to Betsy's son Edgar Cooper, Joseph and Betsy Worland had two children before they migrated to Australia:

Joseph and Betsy Worland departed from Birkenhead, England on 29 September 1856 aboard the Arabian, arriving at Geelong on 27th January 1857.

See this site for more information on their life in Australia.

Brothers marry - Family of William Worland (1800 - ) and Elizabeth Negus, and Joseph Worland (1807 - 1895) and Mary Stone (1814 - 1889) - Melbourn

William Worland (1800 - ), the son of Joseph Worland (1766 - 1836) and Elizabeth Merry (1777 - 1840), married Elizabeth Negus on 26 November 1834 in Melbourn. The marriage was witnessed by John Gilby and Sarah Worland, probably William's younger sister born in 1810. William and Elizabeth had the following children, all born in Melbourn:

Joseph Worland, the son of Joseph Worland (1766 - 1836) and Elizabeth Merry (1777 - 1840), married Mary Stone (1814 - 28 May 1889) on 7 February 1835 in Melbourn. They had the following children, all born in Melbourn:

After the birth of Richard, Joseph and Mary then migrated to Australia, arriving in 1853. Until recently, there were three versions of who this Joseph might be:

Click this link for the story of Joseph and Mary Worland in Australia and their additional children born after arrival.

Other deaths recorded in Melbourn - 1828 and 1830

Two Worland deaths were recorded in Melbourn in 1828 and 1830, born to unknown parents:

Family of George Warland and Sarah Green - Melbourn

Banns were issued by the Melbourn church on 5 July 1840 and again on 10 January 1841, in relation to George Worland and Sarah Green of Whaddon. It is not yet known who George was, although he is recorded as a fishmonger when his son David was baptised. George and Sarah had the following children, all baptised in the Melbourn church:

Marriage of Joseph Worland and Eliza Smith - 1843 - Melbourn

Melbourn church records show the marriage of Joseph Worland, son of Joseph Worland, and Eliza Smith, minor spinster, daughter of William Smith. Witnesses were Thomas Langham and Anna Langham. It is not yet known who Joseph may have been.

Page created 20 April 2013, updated 2 November 2015. Copyright Andrew Warland