This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English locational name from a place so called in West Yorkshire, which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Cuzeuuorde", and as "Cucewordh" in 1208, in the Feet of Fines. The placename itself is composed of the Olde English personal name "Cuttsa", a short form of a name composed of the elements "cuth", famous, well-known, and "sige", victory, with the Olde English "worth", enclosure. 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 surname itself first appears in records in the mid 14th Century (see below). Early examples of the surname include the marriage of John Cusworth and Dority Hill, on January 13th 1544, at St. Antholin's, London, in 1562; and the marriage of Robert Cusworth and Jenet Fox, on December 11th 1563, at Royston in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Cusworth, which was dated 1358, in the "Register of Freemen of York City", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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