This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a parish and village, north east of Wragby in Lincolnshire, called Benniworth. Recorded as "Beningurde" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Beningewurtha" in the 1171 Pipe Rolls of that county, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Beonna" with "ing", people of, and "worth", enclosure, homestead; hence, "homestead of Beonna's people". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which in the modern idiom is found as: Ben(ne)worth, Benneyworth, Benniworth, Bonworth and Bunworth. On May 3rd 1596, Margreta Bunworth and Robert Coddington were married at Kirkby on Bain, Lincolnshire. The Bunworth Coat of Arms is ermine, on a bent cottised sable three church bells argent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Benneworthe, which was dated August 3rd 1539, marriage to Robert Cotes, at Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, 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.
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