Recorded as Keywood, Keworth and Keyworth, this is an English locational surname. It originates from a place called Keyworth, in Nottinghamshire. Recorded variously as Caworde in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Kewurth in the Fines Court Rolls of that county in 1242, the derivation is from the pre 7th century word 'caeg', meaning posts or rails, and 'worp' an enclosure, hence a field or farm surrounded by a fence made of posts. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include the christening of John Keyworth, at All Saints church, South Leverton, Nottinghamshire, on September 4th 1608; the christening of Nicolas Keyworth in Swarkeston, Derbyshire, on April 16th 1666, and the marriage of Mary Keywood to Simon Thomas at St Katharines by the Tower (of London) on June 27th 1669. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Tobie Keworth. He was servant to Mr. John Hodgkins, and dated 1590, in the Burial Register of the church of St. Mary Aldermary, city of London. Thuis was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, known to history as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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