Worden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Worden is thought to be derived from Warden, a parish in the union of Hexham, N. W. division of Tindale ward, in Northumberland. "This place derives its name, originally Wardon, from the remarkable don or hill under which the church and village are beautifully situated on the south-east, and on the rocky summit of which are vestiges of a circular British camp, subsequently occupied by the Romans, who raised additional works. Within the area of this encampment, the bases of buildings and several querns have been found; and not far from the vicarage-house are traces of a similar fort, most probably connected with the wall of Severus, near which the parish is situated. The manor and church, in 1298, belonged to the monks of Hexham, to whom they had been granted, according to the record, "from a time beyond all memory," by Adam de Tyndale." [1]

Early written versions of the name tend to spell the name beginning with "Wer-," and as such the name is most likely derived from the Old English "wer," or weir, and "denu," which meant valley.

However, most sources note the occupational nature of the name as in from the Anglo-French word wardein, Old French gardein, guardian. [2] [3] [4] [5]

So as to prove this case, the longer form of the occupation as in 'churchwarden,' 'way-warden,' 'Lord-warden of the Cinque Ports,' are still in use. [4]

Early Origins of the Worden family

The surname Worden was first found in Hertfordshire where the Saxon, Wluric Uuerdenus held lands before the taking of the Domesday Survey in 1086.

Later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: William de Warden in Oxfordshire; Elyas Wardeden in Berkshire; and Walter Wardein in Oxfordshire. [6]

Symon de Waredon was listed at Clerkenwell, Kent in 1232, and Elyas de Wardon was listed there in 1297. [5]

Up in Scotland, the name name is "more probably from Warden in Northumberland as the surname appears late with us. John Wardein was admitted burgess of Glasgow, 1627, as servitor to the marquis of Hamilton, and David Wardine was admitted burgess and guild brother, 1629." [7]

Early History of the Worden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Worden research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1352, 1379, 1627, 1685, 1698, 1535, 1491, 1500, 1476 and 1480 are included under the topic Early Worden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Worden Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Worden, Wordene, Word, Werden, Warden and others.

Early Notables of the Worden family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Werric Werden, scion of the family, and Wynkyn de Worde (d. 1535), English printer of over 700 books. "His real name was Jan van Wynkyn ('de Worde' being merely a place name), and in the sacrist's rolls of Westminster Abbey from 1491 to 1500 he figures as Johannes Wynkyn. While still a young man he came over to England and...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Worden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Worden Ranking

In the United States, the name Worden is the 3,562nd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [8]


United States Worden migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Worden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jane Worden, who arrived in New England in 1634
  • Isaac Worden, who arrived at Boston in 1635
  • Isack Worden, aged 18, who arrived in New England in 1635 [9]
  • William Worden, who arrived in Virginia in 1661 [9]
Worden Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Worden, who landed in Virginia in 1712 [9]
Worden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • P Worden, aged 27, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [9]
  • J H Worden, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [9]

Canada Worden migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Worden Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Gabriel Worden U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [10]
  • Mr. Jarvis Worden U.E. born in North Castle, New York, USA who settled in Greenwich, Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he became a Freeman in 1785 was a Mason [10]
  • Mr. Jermiah Worden U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he became a Freeman in 1785 was a Bricklayer [10]
  • Mr. John Worden U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 [10]
Worden Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Henry Worden, recorded in the 1861 Census of Athol Township, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada

Australia Worden migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Worden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Worden, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Joseph Soames" [11]
  • Thomas Worden, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Joseph Somes" in 1850 [12]
  • Thomas Worden, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Hooghly" [13]

New Zealand Worden migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Worden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Worden, aged 46, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865 [14]
  • Elizabeth Worden, aged 44, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865 [14]
  • Alice Worden, aged 19, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865 [14]
  • Richard Worden, aged 17, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865 [14]
  • Elizabeth Worden, aged 12, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Worden (post 1700) +

  • Alfred Merrill "Al" Worden (1932-2020), American astronaut, command module pilot for the Apollo 15 moon mission [15]
  • Neil James Worden (b. 1931), former American NFL football fullback
  • Brigadier General Simon P. "Pete" Worden Ph.D. (b. 1949), American Director of NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC)
  • John Lorimer Worden (1818-1897), American Rear Admiral, commander of the USS Monitor in first battle of ironclad ships in 1862, eponym of Fort Worden, Washington and the three ships named USS Worden
  • Norton Earl "Hank" Worden (1901-1992), American cowboy who became an actor who appeared in many John Wayne films
  • Ken Worden (1943-2021), English-born football coach and a player from Preston Lancashire
  • Blair Worden, British historian, leading authority on the English Civil War era
  • Marc Worden (b. 1976), Canadian actor from Toronto, cast member on the Disney Channel's All New Mickey Mouse Club from 1990-1995
  • Harold Worden Wylie, American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [16]
  • Worden E. Winne, American politician, Mayor of Freeport, New York, 1941-42 [17]

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Francis James Worden, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [18]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Jane Worden, American 2nd Class passenger from Lowell, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [19]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  10. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm
  13. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 21st February 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Rodney 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/rodney1855.shtml
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 7th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Alfred Worden. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/worden-am.html
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  19. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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