This unusual name is of Old Norse, Scandinavian origin, and is a locational surname deriving from a now "lost" place in Lancashire. Some seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since the 11th Century, mostly due to natural causes like the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, and to enforced "clearing" of large areas of land for sheep pastures during the boom in the wool trade of the 15th Century. The placename, Ainscough, is composed of the Old Norse elements "einn", alone, solitary, with "skogr", wood; hence, "the wood standing alone". The Yorkshire placename, Aindesby, is composed of the Old Norse personal name "Eindrithi", meaning "sole ruler", and "by", homestead, illustrating the use of the Old Norse element "ein(n)" in another name. The modern surname can be found as Ainscough and Ainscow. Recordings from Lancashire Church Registers include the christening of Anna Ainscough on July 20th 1625, at St. John's, Preston. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Kateryn Aynscow, which was dated January 17th 1550, marriage to John Brindill, at Chorley, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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