This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place in 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 excerpt from Baines "History of Lanacashire" reads, "in the reign of Edward 111 (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). Recordings from Lancashire Church Registers include the christening of Ann Duckworth, an infant, in 1561, at Great Harwood. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was Sir John Thomas Duckworth (1748 - 1817), who was Rear Admiral of the White (1799), and Governor and Commander in Chief of Newfoundland, 1810 - 1813, Admiral 1810; he was created baronet in 1813. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henricus de (of) Dukeworth, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns 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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