This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place thus called south east of Nottingham in Nottinghamshire. Recorded variously as Caworde in the Domesday Book of 1086, as Kaworda in 1178, and as Kewurth in the 1242, Fine Court Rolls of that county, the place was so named from the Old English pre 7th Century "caeg", pole or projection, plus "worth", a homestead, or enclosure round a homestead; hence, "enclosure made of poles". Recordings of the surname from English church registers include the christening of John Keyworth, an infant, in All Saints, South Leverton, Nottinghamshire, on September 4th 1608; the christening of one, Nicolas Keyworth in Swarkeston, Derbyshire, on April 16th 1666, and the marriage of Thomas Keyworth to Mary Loughton in Pilham, Lincolnshire, on June 23rd 1682. An interesting namebearer was Thomas Keyworth, (1782-1852), divine and hebraist, whose chief work "Principia Hebraica" was published. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tobie Keworth, servant to Mr. John Hodgkins, which was dated 1590, Burial Records of St. Mary Aldermary, London, 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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