This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is found particularly in the northern counties of England, especially Yorkshire, where there was a marked Scandinavian influence. "Outhwaite" or "Owthwaite" are locational surnames and derive from a "lost" place so called, believed to have been situated not far from Ilkley in West Yorkshire, near to the places called Bouthwaite and Gouthwaite, the latter now being "lost" under the River Nidd. The placename means "Ufi's clearing", derived from the Olde Norse and Olde Swedish personal "Ufi", with the Olde Norse "Threit", a meadow or clearing in a wood. John Outhwaite was christened on the 29th January 1693, at Markse, near Richmond, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Owthwayte, married Elizabeth Rawling, which was dated 20th September 1562, Monk Frystone, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bees", 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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