Last name: Butterworth

This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place thus called near Rochdale in Lancashire. Recorded as "Buterwrth" in the 1235 Fine Court Rolls of that county, and as "Butterwurth" in the 1246 Assize Court Rolls; the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "butere", butter, from the Latin "butyrum", plus the Olde English "worth", a homestead, or enclosure round a homestead; hence, "homestead where butter was made". Presumably, the butter produced in this place was distinguished by excellence of blend or quality. The surname was first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below), while, in 1559, one John Butterworth, of Butterworth, was noted in the Wills Records at Chester, and in 1587, Alice Butterworth of Rochdale, was noted in the same records. James Butterworth (1771 - 1837), wrote poems in the Lancashire dialect. His youngest son Edwin (1812 - 1848), collected materials for the history of Lancashire. Some of his collections are preserved at Oldham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald de Boterworth, which was dated circa 1160, in Baines "History of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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