Some surnames are quite popular in a given area, but rarely found elsewhere, this is one of them! The modern spellings are usually Barkworth and Barkwith, and in the county of Lincoln each enjoys a measure of support. The names derives from the hamlet of 'Barkworth' on the wolds, and this is also the meaning of the name - the hamlet on the hill. The origination is from the most ancient language of England, Olde British, which predates the Roman Invasion of 54 a.d., and the original spelling would have been 'bearrac worp' or similar, with 'bearrac' meaning a hill or wold and 'worp' - an enclosure or fenced hamlet. The village is first recorded in Domesday Book (1086) as 'Barcuude' but by 1252 had metamorphised into the (near) modern spelling of 'Barkewurthe'. Sometime in the next two centuries the surname appeared as a result of some original village residents moving to another area, and hence adopting as identification the name of their former home. Spelling being at best rudimentary, an immediate division was recorded between those being called Barkworth and those called Barkwith. Early recordings include Willemus Barkwith of Alford On July 5th 1578, and Anne Barkworth, at Maltby le Marsh on October 11th 1584. Other slightly whimsical and phonetic spellings include Elesobeth Barkwyth who married Rychard Harryson at South Ormsby on July 30th 1585 and John Barkeworthe who married Elesaybeth Sander at Mumby, on January 30th 1562. The coat of arms has the distinctive blazon of chequy, gold and red, overall a blue bend. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Barkeworthe, which was dated February 18th 1552, christened at Brocklesby, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as 'The boy king', 1547 - 1554. 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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