This very unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called 'Hurworth Bryan' and 'Hurworth on Tees' in County Durham. The first of these places is recorded as 'Hordewordhe' in 1211, and in the 1212 Curia Rolls of the county as 'Hurtheworth', and the second, recorded earlier, as 'Hurdewurda' in the Yorkshire Charters of 1158. The name 'Hurworth' means 'enclosure made from hurdles', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'hurth', hurdle, and 'worth', enclosure, settlement. Hurworth Bryan is so called from the first holder of the land, Brian, son of Alan Fergeant, Court of Brittany and a companion of William the Conqueror, and later first Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those who moved from their birthplace to another area. The christening of one Jane Hurworth was recorded in Pontefract, Yorkshire, on October 27th 1608. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Hurworth (marriage to Alice Moore), which was dated December 1st 1599, Sedgefield, County Durham, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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