Hibbitt & Barnes Family History

William WORGAN (abt. 1736 - 1816)

William WORGAN was born in Woolaston, Gloucestershire, in about 1736, the eldest son of John and Margaret WORGAN. The details of his baptism in the Woolaston parish registers, as transcribed by www.forest-of-dean.net, are as follows...

Record ID 245306 
Entry Number 389 
Year 1736 
Month May 
Day 2 
Parents Surname WORGAN 
Child Forenames William 
Fathers Forenames John 
Mothers Forenames Margarett 
Mothers Surname 
Officiating Minister Robert Griffith Rector 
Event Baptism 
Memoranda son 
Register Reference P376 IN 1/1 
Page Number 18 
Parish Chapel Woolaston


William was a farmer and may well have lived all of his life in the village of Woolaston, within the area known as the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. He might have lived with his brother, John, in a property known as the Burnt House. William wrote a will in 1816 shortly before he died leaving his land and possessions to his nephews and nieces, the children of his brother, Edward and sister, Margaret. The will reads as follows...

This is the last Will and Testament of me William Worgan of the parish of Woolastone in the County of Gloucester farmer I will and direct that all my just debts Funeral Expenses and costs of proving this my will be first paid I Give and devise All that Messuage outhouses farm lands and ………. with the Appurtenances called the Burnt House Situate in the parish of Woolastone aforesaid or such House?? Right and Situate as I have therein unto my friend James Woodroffe of the parish of Woolastone aforesaid Gentleman and his heirs Upon Trust to permit and Suffer my Nephew John Pitcher to use occupy possess and Enjoy and receive and take the rents and profits thereof until my Nephew William Worgan shall attain the age of Twenty one years and upon his attaining such age then I Give and devise the said Messuage Farm lands Hereditaments with their and every of their rights Members and Appurtenances or such share right and Interest as I have therein unto my said Nephew William Worgan his heirs and assigns for ever subject nevertheless with the payment of the Sum of four shillings per Week to my niece Mary Ann Worgan for and during the Term of her natural life and I do hereby charge the same with the payment thereof I Give and devise All that piece or parcel of Wood or rough land Situate in the parish of Woolastone aforesaid containing Six?? Acres and a quarter or thereabouts unto my Nephew John Worgan his heirs and assigns for ever I Give and devise All that Messuage Tenement or Dwelling house with the Garden and Orchard thereto belonging Situate in the village of Neverend otherwise overend?? In the said Parish of Woolastone now in the occupation of William Charles or such share right and Interest as I have therein unto my Nephew James Pitcher for and during the Term of his natural Life And from and after his decease I Give and devise the same unto my said Nephew William Worgan his heirs and assigns for ever All my Monies Goods Stock Chattels and Effects of what nature or kind Soever or wheresoever Situate or such share and Interest as I have therein I Give and bequeath unto my Nephews John Worgan Edward Worgan James Henry Worgan and my nieces Mary Ann Eliza Peace Elizabeth and Caroline Worgan and to my Nephews Benjamin and William Pitcher and my nieces Ann and Sarah Pitcher and Celia Gunter in Equal shares and proportions And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said Nephew John Pitcher Executor of this my Will hereby revoking all former Wills by me made In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal the tenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and Sixteen
The Mark of William Worgan

Signed Sealed published and declared by the said Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and at his request and in the presence of each other have Subscribed our names as Witnesses hereto
Arthur Pitcher
Sarah Worgan
Warren Silcocks

16th May 1818
The above named John Pitcher the Executor was duly Sworn Before me Chas. Palmer Snr
Under £300

...The witness, Sarah WORGAN, might have been the widow of William's brother, Edward. Arthur PITCHER may possibly have been the brother of Benjamin PITCHER, the elder, who was the husband of William's sister, Margaret.


Even today, there is an area near Woolaston known as Netherend (probably the Neverend mentioned in William's will). The Woolaston Parish Council website quotes...

"The Parish of Woolaston has a long and varied history. Originally, the centre of population for the Parish existed around the Church, centrally within the Parish. As time has gone by the centre of population has migrated close to the edge of the parish boundary to the area still marked (incorrectly) on older OS maps, as Netherend which is in fact the name of the road through the village from the A48."

The house known as the Burnt House still exists. An excerpt from the British History Online website quotes...

"Most of the older houses in the parish are in two groups at Plusterwine and Brookend, within the area of the medieval manor of 'Aluredston', which comprised the eastern part of the parish. Its boundaries cannot be defined precisely but it extended to the Cone brook and River Severn, and included the port at Cone Pill....

"...By c. 1703 there were 35 families in Plusterwine hamlet. Burnt House and the former post office at Brookend are 17th-century houses with steeply pitched gabled roofs. Tan House was built in the late 17th century and Brookend House, formerly the Woolaston Inn, bears the initials 'IMW 1713' on the gate-posts, which almost certainly stand for James and Mary Woodroffe (both d. 1728)."

...Could this James Woodroffe be the friend mentioned in the will who was asked to hold the Burnt House in Trust until William's nephew, also William WORGAN, reached the age of 21?


William died in 1816 at the age of 80 between 10th and 19th February within days of the death of his brother, John. The details of his burial were recorded in the Woolaston parish registers, as transcribed by www.forest-of-dean.net...

Entry Number 39 
Year 1816 
Month Feb 
Day 19 
Surname WORGAN 
Forenames William 
Residence Woolaston 
Age at death 80 years 
Officiating Minister C Bryan 
Event Burial 
Cause of death 
Register Reference P376 IN 1/9 
Page No 5 
Parish Chapel Woolaston


The Woolaston Churchyard Survey produced by the Woolaston Village History Group has recorded the following...

Altar tomb
Top In memory of Ann Pitcher Spinster of this Parish who died August 14th 1843 aged 66 Years
North Dedicated To the Memory of JOHN WORGAN of this Parish ..Febr ... Also WILLIAM ...
South TO THE MEMORY of Deborah Worgan of this Parish who departed this Life the 13th Day of ... 1837 Aged 93 years.

...Some of the surviving altar tombs at Woolaston were once inside the church but are all in the churchyard these days, including the Worgan one. When the church was remodelled in the 19th century they were either rebuilt outside or dismantled.


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