This is a locational English surname from the county of Devonshire in the far south west. It originates either from Leworthy, a hamlet near the village of Bratton Fleming, or from a now "lost" medieval village near the town of Holsworthy. The name probably means "The spring (hleo) on the land (wortig)," although there are a number of other explanations of a similar pattern. Lost medieval villages are a feature, all be it, usually a near invisible one, of the British countryside. It is estimated that at least three thousand such places have disappeared over the past five centuries, most of not all of whom have produced surnames. In fact the surviving surname is often the only public witness in the 21st century of their former existence. As to why these place disappeared has been the subject of many books, but usually changes in agricultural practices, land drainage, the great plagues of the 14th to the 17th centuries, and coastal erosion are the culprits. The surname is very well recorded in Devon itself. Examples taken from early surviving church registers include Alice Leworthie who married Christopher Dallin at the village of Charles, near Barnstaple, on February 1st 1548, and Agnes Leworthy of the same village who fifty years later married John Huxtable on June 15th 1600.
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