The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Monday, December 5, 2011

January 1740, England

January 17, 1740- Gulielma Maria Penn, wife of Charles Fell, dies at the age of 40 in London, England.

A letter in the Penn collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
from Charles Fell to John Penn, is dated January 8, 1740. The writer
speaks of his wife as then very ill. She is in care of Dr. Dover, and can
only take "thin caudle through the spout of a teapot." The letter gives no
place of address, but appears from later allusions to have been written from
Westminster. Other letters immediately following disclose a pathetic story. 

Fell to Penn, Thursday, January 17, 1740: 

"This morning at one o'clock my Dearest Guly left me for ever. . . . begg the
continuance of yor Friendship to me and her Children." 
Fell to Penn, January 22, 1740: 

"My poor Dear Guly is this night to be buried in a private but as decent a
manner as I am able in a Vault in Saint Margaret's Church, Westminster." 
Fell to Penn, January 29, 1740: 

" . . . I am most unhappy, left greatly in debt, and am oblig'd to dispose of
all my Goods, wch will be sold next Thursday, to satisfy as many as the poor
amount of them will come to, but what to do afterwards God only knows. My
poor Dear Girls are gone this day wth their Grandmother1 to Hampton Court, in
order to have their Cloaths a little righted up before they go to a School wch
she has recommended. [The little boy, he adds, is taken by one of the ushers
of Westminster School to board with him. The writer himself has taken a
sleeping-room at the coffee-house; he is very anxious for some employment.]" 

Gulielma was born November 10, 1699, at Worminghurst, Sussex County, England. She is "the Beauty", and "Sweet Girl", so often mentioned in her grandfather William Penn's letters.

St Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey
Image by paul-simpson.org via Flickr
She married first "early in life" Aubrey, son of Rees and Martha (Aubrey) Thomas, of Merion, Pennsylvania, the nephew of William Aubrey who had married her aunt, Letitia Penn. Aubrey did not long survive his marriage and left one son, William Penn Thomas. She next married Charles Fell,an officer in the army, and they had three children, Mary Margaretta, Gulielma Frances, and Robert Edward. It seems to be commonly assumed that this line of William Penn the Founder, through his granddaughter, Gulielma Maria Penn, and Charles Fell, is now extinct.
Gulielma lies buried in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, London.

Philad'a, May Wh, 1781. To his Excellency the President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Supreme Executive Council of the State: (Regarding land in Pennsylvania.)
The Petition of John Barron, Israel Morris, Susanna Rodney, Henry Remson, William Pollard, Owen & Clement Biddle and Thomas Bartow, John Brown, Respectfully Sheweth:

"William Penn, the second, died intestate, leaving Issue several Children, of whom Gulielma Maria, afterwards Wife of Charles Fell, was entitled to one-fourth Part of her said Father's Estate, or Six Thousand two Hundred and fifty Acres of the said Great Tract. The said Gulielma Maria Fell afterwards died intestate, leaving Issue Robert Edward Fell, Maria Margaretta, late the Wife of the Petitioner John Barron, and Gulielma Maria Frances, late the Wife of Newcomb, who became entitled to the Whole Estate of their said Mother."

The Church: Originally founded in the 12th century by Benedictine monks, so that local people who lived in the area around the Abbey could worship separately at their own simpler parish church, and historically part of the hundred of Ossulstone in the county of Middlesex, St Margaret's was rebuilt from 1486 to 1523. It became the parish church of the Palace of Westminster in 1614, when the Puritans of the 17th century, unhappy with the highly liturgical Abbey, chose to hold Parliamentary services in the more "suitable" St. Margaret's, a practice that has continued since that time.

(Gulielma Penn is my fourth cousin 8 times removed. Our common ancestors are Pletjes Driessen & Alet Gobels Syllys.)
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