One of the earliest records of a
Duckworth in America was John Duckworth. Under a four-year indenture,
John Duckworth was one of 23 persons "imported into this province ....
Registered in the secretary's books of Records," 1 December 1684, upon
the account of Wm Dockwra" (Archives
of ... New Jersey
, first series, v.21, p. 61). William Dockwra
(Dockray, Docwrae) was a London merchant and one of the proprietors of
The personal estate of William Duckworth, yeoman, of New Hanover
Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, was appraised at L88 - 9 - 6,
7 March 1727/8, by Asher Clayton, John Wright, and Jonathan Fowler. On
15 March 1727/28 William Cook gave bond as administrator of the estate.
His accounting of 22 March 1730/1 included charges for "sundrys
furnished to the widow in her last sickness," two coffins and digging
two graves (Archives of ... New Jersey
first series, v., 23, p. 144). In the May term 1728 the County Court
confirmed William Bowgar and William Dean, who were appointed by
Grace Duckworth, widow, during her last illness, as guardians for
Joseph, Anna, and Mary Duckworth (Burlington Co., N.J., Minutes of Common Pleas
p. 330). These three seem under 14; usually orphans under age,
but 14 or over, chose their own guardians.
"Index to Marriage Bonds and Marriage Records in the Office of
Secretary of State at Trenton, (1665-1800)," William Nelson, ed. N.J. Archives
, v. 22:
(1) William Duckworth & Hannah Clevenger (both of Burlington) 21
(2) William Duckworth & Mary Wright (both of Burlington) 6 Dec 1731
(3) John Duckworth & Sarah Hankins (both of Burlington) 20 March
(4) Joseph Duckworth & Esther Ong (both of Burlington) 1 June 1737
(5) George & Jamima Williamson (both of N.J.) 26 June 1739
(6) Samuel Rose & Anna Duckworth (both of Burlington) 26 Feb.
(7) Hugh Hartly & Mary Duckworth (both of Burlington) 29 Dec. 1740
William Duckworth b. 1709 in Burlington County, New Jersey d. 30
January 1761 in Chester County, Pennsylvania, m. 1 Mary Wright in
Burlington, New Jersey and they were the parents of: Uriah b. January
1734/35; Sarah b. 1739; Grace b. 1741; Aaron b. 28 January 1741/42; and
Rody b. 1743. All born in Burlington, New Jersey.
William Duckworth left his wife Mary and children in New Jersey when he
went to Virginia and presumably was a resident of Frederick County by
October 1750 when a 235 acre grant was surveyed for him in Lord
Fairfax's Northern Neck proprietary. In March 1753, the Frederick
County Court named William Duckworth road overseer, a position he held
at the time of his death in 1761, and he also served as constable and
juror. William Duckworth of Frederick County, Virginia died between 10
and 30 January 1761, while on a trip to Chester County, Pennsylvania.
His will left his Virginia property to wife Easlie (Alice, Elsie) and
his New Jersey property "in Trent Town: to "my five children....Uriah,
Aaron, Sarah, Grace, and Rodey Duckworth" (Duckworth Notes in Virginia
by Malcolm Gardner in "The Duckworth Collection").
DUCKWORTH, FREDERICK COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Although Frederick County was authorized in 1738 to be cut off from
Orange, the new county court was not functioning before 1742. In the
first 25 years of Frederick County operations, there appear in its
records as adult residents at least two, possibly three John
Duckworths, a Joseph Duckworth, and two William Duckworths.
On 31 August 1744, the Frederick County Court ordered that John
Duckworth and 18 others "& the male Labouring Tithables belonging
to them work on the Road where the said [Robert] McKay is now Overseer
& Observe his Direction & Orders in Clearing the said Road as
the Law Directs."
In an action in debt, 8 March 1744/45, Daniel Stillwell vs. John
Duckworth, the defendant Duckworth "Confest Judgement to the Plt. for
Eight pounds Ten shillings Pensilvania Money of the Value of Six pounds
Seven shillings & Six pence Currt. Money of Virga." On John
Duckworth's complaint in 1748 the Sheriff attached a cow, furniture,
and other personal property of Mathias Ardis; the Court ordered the
property sold and Duckworth to have his account of L 1 - 12 - 9 and
costs (Frederick Co., Va., Order
1, pp. 170, 285; 2, p. 463).
In February Court 1748/49, John Duckworth was appointed "Overseer of
the Road from the County Road to the Chapple at McCoys Spring," and in
the following month the road from "Cedar Creek to Robert McCoys Run"
seems added to his district. In February, a John Duckworth was
"appointed Constable for the ensuing year." In June 1755, a John
Duckworth was named as overseer of the road "from Captain Jacob Funks
to his house,” apparently indicating him as a landholder, but the
compiler has seen no record of his owning real property (Ibid., Order
Books 3, pp. 18,46; 4, p. 377, 6, p. 311).
John Duckworth seems to have spent little time in court, mostly an
occasional action in debt (Ibid
3, p. 219; 4, p.
165; 5, p. 312). In June 1759, John Hite's action "In Debt" against
John Duckworth came before the Court; "The Dft being dead the Suit is
Ordered to Abate (ibid
., Order Book
8, p.276). The compiler
is uncertain if this last is an example of a very slow docket or if it
refers to a John Duckworth other than the one who died intestate before
5 April 1757, leaving a widow Sarah who administered his estate (ibid
., Order Books
7, p. 221; 9, p. 276).
On 4 March 1761, John Larich, Jr. was named road overseer "from McHays
Chapple to the widow Duckworths," indicating that a John Duckworth's
widow was then still living (ibid
9, p. 267).
On 4 April 1753, "Given under my hand and seal of the proprietors
office," G.W. Fairfax authorized Robert Rutherford to make a survey:
"Whereas John Duckworth of Frederick County hath informed that there
are about Four Hundred Acres of Waste, and ungranted L, in the Said
County adjoining the No Side of Casper Mires Late Survey on Drie Run
And desiring a Warrant to survey the same in order to obtain a Deed,
... provided this be the first Warrant that hath been issued for the
same...." Rutherford’s survey plat, with description, is dated 18 April
1753: "Pursuant to a warrant from the Proprietors office
granted to John Duckworth I have surveyed for the said Duckworth" 480
acres in said County "on the westerly side of Shannandoah, on a branch
of Crooked Run, ... [joining] Land Surveyed for Samuel Morse ...for
Capt John Hite ... for Casper Mire." Chainmen were "Saml Morse &
Edward Cartmel." No further action seems to have been taken on final
title until after the Revolution. Then similar notations are added to
the outside fold of each of the old 1752 survey warrant and plat: "John
Duckworth ...480 acres ... 29 Sep. 1789," (Northern Neck Surveys
Co., Va., Box D-E, John Duckworth)
Malcolm Gardner notes.