Recorded as Duckworth, Duckwith, and Dukeworth, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place in the county of Lancashire called Duckworth Fold. The first element is the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Ducca", of uncertain origin, and "worth", a homestead; hence, "Ducca's homestead". Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace.The following passage from Baines History of Lancashire reads, "....in the reign of Edward 111rd (1327 - 1372), Richard de Radcliffe held two carucates of land in Oswaldtwisle and Duckworth at that time called Dokeward". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 14th Century (see below), and recordings include the christening of Ann Duckworth, at Great Harwood, Lancashire, in 1561, whilst Sir John Thomas Duckworth (1748 - 1817), was Governor and Commander in Chief of Newfoundland, 1810 - 1813. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henricus de Dukeworth. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd, 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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