At my direction, the subject marker was installed in Feb
1997 as a Memorial to g'ma Mary. Due to a scarcity of information about
her, my decision was to use the best information available at that time;
the assumption being that Mary was likely Samuel's first cousin (daughter
of his uncle Benjamin Worthington) who had removed his family first to
Kentucky, then to Alabama ca. 1817, and that she had died at Newnansville
during the first Florida Seminole War, 1836-37. Subsequent to that time
some of the assumptions have proven false, or at best questionable, and
need to be corrected. The known areas affected are: 1) the marker itself;
2) page 112 of the historical publication, "Lest We Forget, A Town, Newnansville,
Florida", researched and compiled by Mary Lois Douglas Forrester, 1998;
3) and the listing submitted by me to this site in May 1999. Viewer's of
this listing are advised that the dates shown inscribed on the marker have
been deleted from the listing and correction to the marker will be made
by physically obscuring the dates; plus Mrs Forrester will be advised of
the incorrect dates given to her. All other inscriptions on the marker
are considered valid and will remain.
For the benefit of future viewer's who may be researching the Samuel Worthington line, his family sketch is provided below, including sources of information. As shown, Mary's origin is still unresolved and research is continuing. Earlier suppositions by other researchers offer that Mary and Samuel were married in South Carolina before removing to Florida. However, the birth date/place of their first born (of record), plus Samuel's deposition that he was in Columbia County, Florida by 1812, suggests that their marriage was likely in Georgia or Florida instead, and that her maiden name was probably Ishie, as handed down by family lore. Also that she died sometime between 26 Dec 1840 when she made her mark on an Indenture of Dower Release, and the 26 Nov 1850 Census when she was absent from Samuel's H/H.
Samuel Worthington was born ca 1785 in Newberry District,
SC, the son of Quaker parents John Worthington and Elizabeth Davis.
Samuel removed to the Territory of Florida as early as 1812, pioneering
in the St Marys River area of NE Florida. At some unknown place/time he
married Mary, ancestry unknown. NOTE: Family lore gives her maiden name
as Ish(i)e, born in Switzerland.
Mary died after 1840 and is believed to be buried in Newnansville Cemetery, Alachua County, Florida. Samuel died in 1857 at Otter Creek, Levy County, Florida and is said to be buried in an overgrown field just to the the south of the Rocky Hammock Cemetery, Levy Co, FL. They were the parents of six children:
1. Samuel Hall, b. 16 JUL 1821; m. Felicia A. Brown, 14 Jan 1845; d. 10 Oct 1896, both bu. Rocky Hammock Cemetery, Levy Co, FL.
2. John, b. ca. 1823; d. aft. 1840.
3. Mary Ann, b. 3 Nov 1825; m. Langley Bryant; d. 2 Jun 1907, both bu. Bethel United Methodist Cemetery, Lake City, FL.
4.*Granville Hickman, b. 29 Jan 1827; m. Sarah Ann Marston, 8 Sep 1850; d. 7 Feb 1908, Mary is bu. Rocky Hammock Cemetery, Levy Co, FL & Granville is believed bu. alongside her in unmarked grave.
5. Esther, b. ca. 1829; d. aft. 1840.
6. Martha Jane, b. 18 May 1833; m. 1st, Thomas Jones, 2 Feb 1849; 2nd, John Sasser, bef. 1854; d. ca. 1906, bu. Old Providence Baptist Cemetery, Columbia Co, FL.
* Submitter’s 2Ggrandparents
The first record of Samuel’s presence in the Territory
of Florida is a 4 Feb 1817 Petition for 100 acres on the St Marys River
for himself, his wife, and one negro slave; though he would state later
in a Deposition given on 19 Mar 1846, “that he has known the Alachua country
since 1812 when he moved to Columbia County”.
For the first 30 or so years, Samuel farmed and raised a family in the NE Florida area bordered by the St Marys, St Johns, Suwanee, and Santa Fe Rivers. It appears he homesteaded and sold several parcels of land in the area before settling on a 40 acre plot on the north bank of the Santa Fe River where a small town, Worthington Springs, is named for him. He was granted homestead rights to that plot on 11 Mar 1845.
The family was never very far from one of the several forts in the area due to the danger of Indian uprisings. Such was the case during 1836-37 when he moved the family to safety, and taking young Samuel H. with him, joined the Florida Mounted Militia for 3 months. Twice more in ensuing years one or more of his three sons would join with the Militia against the Indians, John in 1840-41, and Samuel H. and Granville in 1856 (from Levy Co.). John never returned from his service, and family members believed him to have been slain by Indians.
Family lore says Mary also was killed by Indians while at the fort near Newnansville where they had fled for safety during an uprising. Since Mary was not listed in Samuel’s household for the 1850 Census, but had previously signed a legal document on 26 December 1840, the possibility exists that she was killed during the 1840-41 uprising.
Samuel and Samuel H. both voted in Florida’s first statehood election in 1845, Samuel serving as election clerk and voting at the Fort Call precinct near Worthington Springs, and Samuel H. voting in the Alligator Precinct (Lake City)
Local lore concerning the Worthington’s abounds in the little namesake town, even today. Extracts from THE HISTORY OF UNION COUNTY state that Samuel was “very eccentric, a man with money, and lived in an unusual house with oak blocks”. Further it states that “a spring of water was discovered by his two boys, Samuel H. and Granville, who were playing near the river and found a trickle of water coming up from around an oak root. He had a pool dug out, which was the beginning of the famous Worthington Springs. After his attempts to start a store were unsuccessful, he became embittered, stopped the flow of water, prayed down the curses of Heaven upon the place, and moved down to Otter Creek in Levy County.”
Samuel’s move from the “cursed” Springs to Otter Creek appears to have been ca. 1851-52, probably in company with son Samuel H. and his growing family. Son Granville, after returning from the Mexican War had married Sarah Ann Marston in 1850 in Marion County and rejoined his father and brother in Levy County shortly afterwards. The two daughters, Mary Ann and Martha Jane had married in the Springs area, and remained there to raise their families. Samuel died in 1857, never knowing that his two sons would once again answer the call to duty, serving in the Florida Infantry during the War Between The States, 1862-65.
It can be said that Samuel Worthington left quite a legacy as a Florida Pioneer, including a town named for him, plus many proud descendants in present-day Union and Levy counties.
Sources: Territorial Papers of the US, Vol XXVI published by the National Archives; Spanish Land Grants in Florida, Vol II published by the State Library Board, Tallahassee, Florida; Florida Voters in their First Statewide Election: May 26 1845 by Brian E. Michaels; Muster Roll Records of the Florida (Seminole) War (years 1836-37, 1840-41, and 1856), Mexican War (1848-50), and the War Between The States (1862-65) from the National Archives; A biography of THOMAS WORTHINGTON, Father of Ohio Statehood, by Alfred Byron Sears (1958) published by The Ohio Historical Society; Extracts from the research papers of Worthington researchers: THE GENEALOGY OF THE WORTHINGTON FAMILY compiled by George Worthington (no address) (1894); THE GENEALOGY OF THE WORTHINGTON FAMILY OF ALABAMA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA, AND OHIO by Henry Upson Sims, Birmingham Alabama (1937); WORTHINGTON compiled by Harold M. DeLorme, Jr, Columbia, South Carolina (1959); THE WORTHINGTON FAMILY OF FLORIDA by Eloise J. Rogers, Sarasota, Florida (1972); plus various untitled monographs; the History of Levy County, Florida published by the Levy County Archives Committee, 1 Feb 1977; HISTORY OF UNION COUNTY, FLORIDA published in 1971; QUAKER FAMILIES OF SOUTH CAROLINA & GEORGIA by Wm F. Medlin, published in 1952 by Ben Franklin Press; 1830-1850 Federal Censuses.
Submitted: 29 November 1999