This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from Urswich in Lancashire (now two villages called Great and Little Urswick), near Dalton-in-Furness. The original settlement is recorded in "The Coucher Book of Furness Abbey" as "Ursewica", circa 1150, and as "Ursewik" in the Lancashire Assize Rolls of 1269, although by 1185 "Magna Urswic" is distinguished in some records from "Parva Urswik" (1257). The placename is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ur", wild ox, bison, aurochs, with "sae", lake, and "wic" (dependent) settlement, often referring to an outlying dairy farm.Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace and settled elsewhere. Regional dialectal differences and varying standards of literacy subsequently gave rise to variant forms of the original name; in this instance the modern surname forms range from Urswick and Ursweek to Worswick, Worsweek, Worsick and Worsewick. Recordings from Church Registers include: the marriage of Anne Worswick and James Rountrey on June 15th 1564, at St. Margaret Pattens, London, and the christening of Mary, daughter of William Worswick, in Kirkham, Lancashire, on February 11th 1595. The family Coat of Arms depicts three silver gobons, each charged with a red saltorel, on a black bend, on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Urswycke, which was dated October 4th 1540, marriage to Margaret Halyda, at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017
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