The Wentworth Family
The Early Years
The Wentworths are one of the most distinguished families in New Hampshire. The Wentworth family has been in New Hampshire since the 1630s and Fred Wesley Wentworth’s family had been a part of the New Hampshire history for generations and a fixture in southern New England when he was born.
William Wentworth, the “founding” American ancestor, immigrated to Exeter, New Hampshire is 1638. The family roots are sunk deep in English history. Wentworth family lineage goes back to the Norman Conquest and according to genealogies, the Wentworth family name is included in the
Doomsday Book that was compiled by William the Conqueror in 1066 for taxation purposes. The Magna Britannica, published in 1800 described the lordship of Wentworth in the Wopentake of Safford in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Well known American Wentworths include Benning Wentworth, colonial governor of New Hampshire; “Long John” Wentworth, Mayor of Chicago and Tappan Wentworth, attorney, member of Congress and benefactor of Dartmouth College.
William Trickey Wentworth, Fred Wesley Wentworth’s father, was a sixth generation New Englander, who was born in Hiram, Maine on April 11, 1822. He spent most of his adult life in Dover, New Hampshire where he was the successful owner of Long Hill Farm, a dairy farm located about a mile outside of the center of the town. Records make it clear that he was in the New Hampshire mold of citizens who participate at all levels. He was also quite entrepreneurial. The elder Wentworth was active in local politics, serving as a Selectman, School Commissioner, Councilman, Alderman in Dover and a State Legislator in New Hampshire.
Lucinda Phipps (MacDonald) Wentworth, Fred Wesley Wentworth’s mother was born on January 13, 1829 in Chatham, New Hampshire and is also part of a well established local stock. Her father, Frederick Southgate MacDonald, was one of the leading citizens of the town of Chatham, who served as Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace. He took pride in his ancestral ties to the Scotch Clan MacDonald. Lucinda’s mother was active in a variety of social and philanthropic activities and is “a woman of exceptional ability”. The family home was a two story wood frame house, well proportioned and simple in its design. It is located on Long Hill Road about a twenty minute carriage ride into the center of Dover. While life on a farm in New Hampshire’s rocky soils with long winters and a short growing seasons can be quite forboding, the house projects a quiet confidence.