Recorded as Clatworthy and Clotworthy, this is an English surname. It is locational from the hamlet of Clatworthy near the town of Wiveliscombe, in the county of Somerset. Recorded as Clateurde in the famous Domesday Book of 1086; as Clatewurth in the Fines Court Rolls of that county in 1127, and as Clatewurthy in the Assize Court Rolls of 1243, the derivation is from the pre 7th century word "clate". This described a coarse bristly plant, and "worth", an area cleared for agriculture, hence, "The farm where clate grew". Locational surnames developed when former inhabitants of a place moved somewhere else, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. This surname was first recorded in the early part of the 14th Century (see below), and early recordings from surviving church registers include the christening of Chenybryan Clothworthey on December 14th 1546, at St. Margaret's Westminster, and the christening of Anne Clatworthey on July 23rd 1587, at St. Botolph without Aldgate in the city of London. An early settler in the New World colonies was Mathew Clatworthy, aged twnty five. He embarked from the Port of London on the ship "Assurance" in July 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Clateworthy. This was dated 1327, in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111rd, known as "The Father of the English Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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