This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational surname from the place called 'Axworthy' in Devonshire. The placename means 'the settlement on the River Axe or Exe', derived from the British (pre-Roman) river name identical with the 'esk' and 'usk' in Scotland and Wales, originally 'isca', in the old Irish 'esc' meaning 'water', with Olde English pre 7th Century word 'worth', meaning, variously, 'enclosure, settlement', and specifically a subsidiary settlement dependent on a main village. Locational names were given especially to those former inhabitants who left to live or work in another area. One John Axworthy married Blaunch Blake on the 21st October 1648 at Yealmpton, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Harry Axworthy, christened, which was dated 15th September 1542, Lezant, Cornwall, during the reign of King Henry VIII, 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.
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