This most interesting surname is of English locational origin from "Dodworth" in Yorkshire, which was recorded "Dodeswrde" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and "Dudewurtha" in the Pipe Rolls of 1170. The placename is composed of the initial element "Dudda", an old English pre 7th Century personal name and "worth", a homestead or enclosure, a common second element in English placenames. Locational name were given originally as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. The surname itself first appears in the late 14th Century (see below). One Willelmus de Dodword appeared in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379. Namebearers include one Roger Dodsworth (1585 - 1654) an antiquary who designed an English baronage, wrote a history of Yorkshire and a Monasticon Anglicanum and William Dodsworth (1798 - 1861) a Roman Catholic writer who had been educated at Trinity College, Cambridgeshire and became perpetual curate of Christchurch, St. Pancras, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walterus de (of) Dodworth, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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