This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called "Cudworth" in West Yorkshire and in Somerset. The place in Yorkshire is the most likely source for the bearers of the modern surname, and is recorded in the Yorkshire Charters of 1185 as "Cudeuurdia", and as "Cutheworth" in 1263. The name means "Cuha's homestead" derived from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Cutha", a derivation of "cuth", famous, well known, with "worth", enclosure, settlement, often a subsidiary settlement dependent on a main village. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.The first recording of the surname from the Somerset village is the baptism, in 1572, of Ralph Cudworth at Wernell Hall in Somerset. The marriage of Jane Cudworth and Rodger Mousdale was recorded in London in September 1585. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Cudworth (christening), which was dated March 29th 1543, in Rotherham, Yorkshire, 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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