Maternal Great Great Grandparents - Wormald / (Millar) Anderson

Sir John Wormald (.pdf file) - writing about his family and his life - in 1929

(Added February 2008, courtesy of Mark and John Hartley - answering many questions posed on this page.)

Mary Millar Anderson - Died 1880s
Joseph Dawson Wormald - Born 1830 - Died 1880s
married 18th February 1859
Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Joseph Dawson Wormald was a Writer to the Signet. The 1911 on-line Encyclopaedia carries this definition: "WRITERS TO THE SIGNET, in Scotland, a society of law agents corresponding to solicitors in England. They were originally clerks in the secretary of states office and prepared the different writings passing the signet; every summons is still signed on its last page by a writer to the signet. By the Titles to Land Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1868, they have the exclusive privilege of preparing all crown writs, charters, precepts, &c., from the sovereign or the prince of Scotland. They have no charter but are usually considered a corporation by long custom; they have office-bearers and are members of the College of Justice. On the Act of Union there was much debate as to whether writers to the signet should be eligible to the Scottish bench. It was finally decided that they should be eligible aften ten years practice. But, with the exception of Hamilton of Pencaitland in 1712, no writer to the signet has ever had a seat on the bench."


Courtesy of John Boon (UK)
1881 John Wormald and siblings - Census details
Must have been after his parents' death (qv right)

Dwelling: 290 Gt Clowes St
Census Place: Broughton In Salford, Lancashire, England
Source: FHL Film 1341944 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 3955 Folio 9 Page
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
John WORMALD U 20 M Scotland
Rel: Head
Occ: Insurance Accountant
Jos.D. WORMALD U 18 M Scotland
Rel: Bro
Occ: Wholesale Chemists Assistant
Mary WORMALD U 16 F Scotland
Rel: Sister
Occ: Scholar
Geo.F. WORMALD 15 M Scotland
Rel: Bro
Occ: Insurance Clerk
Norah WORMALD 13 F Scotland
Rel: Sister
Occ: Scholar
Charles E.L. WORMALD 12 M Scotland
Rel: Bro
Occ: Scholar
Wm.E. WORMALD 11 M Scotland
Rel: Bro
Occ: Scholar
Harry P. WORMALD 6 M Scotland
Rel: Bro
Occ: Scholar
Lily A. WORMALD 5 F Scotland
Rel: Sister
Occ: Scholar

Olive ROBINSON U 20 F Bury, Lancashire, England
Rel: Servant
Occ: Cook Domestic
Harriet ROBINSON U 18 F Bury, Lancashire, England
Rel: Servant
Occ: Housemaid Domestic

The Wormald Name

The name, derives from the old Norse words for 'orm' meaning dragon or serpent and 'biald'- son of. So it literally means 'son of a serpent'.

It started with the Scandinavian raids then invasion and settlement of England commencing in the late 8th century. A kingdom was established at first in Yorkshire with the seat in York. Obviously one or more Norse raiders settled in the area - the name was mainly known in what is now Yorkshire's West Riding. There is a town on the A61 called Wormald Green.

There is a record of a commander of a Danish occupying army in the mid 9th cetury named Orm. The surname Wormald became established sometime between then and the Domesday book - making it a very ancient surname indeed.

The Wormald family crest is a very colourful affair bearing the motto 'Noli me tangere' - Touch me not.

This information from Don Wormald - Sydney, Australia.

NB - Sir John Wormald had his own arms and motto ('Spero Meliora') but carried the 'Lion Rampant' on signet ring and cuff-links etc. Information from letter - Ruth Wormald to Wilma van Stratum.

Any information gratefully received. Please e-mail. idds at

JohnJohn Wormald (Sir)
Born 1859 Died 1933. Married 1889, Eleanor Mabel Simms.

"Born into the Wormald family of Yorkshire, his mother was a Scottish Highlander. He was the eldest of a large family of children. His time at Edinburgh University was cut short by the death of his parents and, being the eldest son, he took their place - which he did successfully. He went into insurance ... " (see previous page details)

John Wormald - 'Insurance Accountant' (Mutual Fire Insurance Corporation of Bolton) states his age as 20 at the time of the 1881 census. IGI has his birth year as 1859 at Edinburgh in Scotland. He is noted elsewhere as being the eldest of 'a large family of children'. He is listed as Head of the Household, at the age of 20, which underscores the detail of parental death - probably before 1881. (see above).

SIBLINGS - all born in Edinburgh, ScotlandWent to Australia  - Joseph D. Wormald

James Anderson Wormald - Born 1861

Joseph D. Wormald - Born 1863
Joseph D. Wormald founded the Australian Company Russell & Wormald and later, with his brother Harry, Wormald Brothers.
See below.
IGI Information - Batch number: C116852 Dates: 1863-1869 - Joseph Dawson WORMALD
Event(s): Birth - 3 Jan 1863 - Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Parents: Joseph Dawson WORMALD and Mary Millar ANDERSON
Mary Wormald - Born 1865Fred
George Frederick (Fred) Wormald - Born 1866
("Uncle" Fred Wormald Isle of Man as pictured previous page.) His daughter, Joyce, married Geoffrey Tweedale. They had 5 (?) children. Joyce Wormald died before her parents. Geoffrey Tweedale re-married. There was a previous Tweedale/Wormald marriage in 1815. Tabitha Wormald married James Tweedale.
Norah Kathleen Wormald - Born 1867
Charles Ernest L. Wormald - Born 1869
Willy (William Edward Wormald)William Edward Wormald
Born 1870 Died 1922 Obituary
(Willy Wormald of Mather & Platt. Wife ne Law) Father of Else and Jimmy (N.S.W.) Wormald. Jimmy married Audrey ne ? Else married Grootenhuis - qv "cousins" pages.
(Henry) Harry Percy Wormald - Born 1874
Harry Wormald joined forces with his brother Joseph to form the company Wormald Brothers in 1900. It became a limited company in 1911 and a public listed company in 1949.
It became known as Wormald International and later absorbed Mather & Platt and also Ansul to become known in the 1970s as Wormald Ansul. It is now an important part of the extensive Tyco Group of companies. Sir John Wormald last visited Australia in 1932, the year before he died.
LilyLily A. Wormald - Born 1876
(Lil as pictured previous page)
Research on-going.
That both parents died (after 1876 and at the same time/together) would have been an unusual circumstance, suggesting either a devastating illness or an accident or disaster.
The gravestone pictured left marks the burial place of a 'J.D. Wormald' born in 1830, as was Sir John Wormald's father, Joseph Dawson Wormald. The stone cross is in Green Grove Cemetery, Keyport, Monmouth County, New Jersey U.S.A. and shows date of death as 1883. If this is the same J(oseph) D(awson) Wormald then certain questions are raised. Joseph Dawson Wormald was christened on 11th April, 1830 at Guiseley in Yorkshire, England - which makes it quite possible for his birth to have been March 4th 1830 as shown on this tombstone. Were the parents visiting in America at the time of death? How long had they been over there? Where were they at the date of the 1881 census in England? Is there a name on the other side of the tombstone? 'Mary Millar Anderson' or 'M. M. Wormald'?

Census YORKSHIRE STRAYS 1851 Extracted from the LDS CD rom for the counties of Devon, Norfolk and Warwickshire.

WORMALD Harry Schl Beeston Hall/YKS 1835
WORMALD James Son Hull/York 1847
WORMALD William Schl Cheebridge Hall/YKS 1839
Additional notes:

Text from Tyco/Wormald NZ

"The early history of Wormald is the history of the fire protection industry in Australia and New Zealand. In 1889 Russell & Wormald was established in Australia acquiring the agency for Grinnell sprinkler systems. An agency was set up in New Zealand through A.D Riley Ltd. The first sprinkler system to be installed in New Zealand was at the Northern Roller Mills in Auckland in 1889. In 1911, Harry Wormald joined his brother Joseph to establish Wormald Brothers Pty Ltd. in Australia. In 1946 Wormald Brothers established its first New Zealand branch and registered as a private company a year later (Wormald Brothers NZ Ltd). Operations in New Zealand were confined to fabricating and installing sprinkler systems until 1953. In this year, the decision was made to expand and develop the New Zealand operations, using the sprinkler business as the base company. The Christchurch based Vigilant Alarm Company (est. 1914) was purchased in 1956. This added electronics manufacturing, together with the design and installation of fire alarms to the services offered to clients. Today, Wormald has expanded its operations from that early base of sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems, to include portable fire equpment and special hazard fire protection.

In August 1990, Tyco International from the USA merged the worldwide operations of Grinnell Fire Protection, Wormald International and their subsidiaries, including Mather and Platt and Total Walther to create the largest fire protection company in the world, with operations in over 50 countries. Tyco International is a Fortune Global 500 Company, currently ranked at 182." John

It is believed that John Wormald was a cousin of Nol Taylor of Mather & Platt Ltd. and Dowson, Taylor Co.
A John Henry WORMALD married Sarah Marshall TAYLOR in April 1880 at Cawood, Yorkshire, England.
Also a Gertrude WORMALD (b.1875) married Herbert TAYLOR in 1896.
Gertrude's siblings were: William Henry (b. 1863 m. 1884 Marsha Wickham), George (b. 1867), Emma (b. 1867), John (b. 1869), Anne Elizabeth (b. 1873 m. 1894 George Meadows), Ernest, Lilly, Martha, Lidia, Minnie and Stanley (married Agnes). Herbert Taylor (believed to be one and the same) worked under the direction of Fred Dowson at Mather & Platt Ltd., until he was appointed Commercial Manager of the Electrical Department in 1911. He was given full charge of the department in 1914 and was made a special Director in 1918 acting in this capacity until he was given a seat on the board in 1927. Directing the fortunes of this illustrious company was also John Taylor.

As a matter of "Mather & Platt" interest, there is a record of a John Wormald marrying an Alice Mather on 5th November 1644 at Birstall in Yorkshire. This John Wormald was bu. February 1678 and his wife, bu. May 1675. His parents are recorded as Richard Wormall and Dorithie Fearnley. They were married in Birstall in August 1591. John (Alice Mather) Wormald had a brother - William Wormald - who married 1624/25 Alice Walker. (Information courtesy of Christine Wormald whose husband, Christopher John Wormald's line descends from this latter, William Wormald. 1/2002)