For such a well recorded surname, the origins of 'Silverwood' are shrouded in mystery. According to recent research it is claimed that 'Silverwood' is a 'lost' medieval village which in early times was situated in the West Riding of Yorkshire. That Silverwood is a name of Yorkshire origin is beyond reasonable argument, the earliest recordings and the greatest number being found in that county. It is also well recorded in London, which is often the case when a village, for whatever reason, ceased to exist.Some five thousand are known to disappeared since the 14th century. When this happened usually as a result of agricultural changes, although plague and civil unrest also played a part, the former inhabitants would as a matter of course head for London - where, as is well known, the streets were paved with gold! Be that as it may, the name Silverwood is of Olde English origins, and it translates literally as 'the wood of the silver birch'. The early examples of the surname include John Silverwood who married Anne Shaw at Halifax, Yorkshire on May 10th 1562, whilst on December 15th 1588, in the year of the Spanish Armada, Danyell, the son of Roger Silverwood, was christened at the church of St Gregory by St Pauls, London. In the first year of the reign of Charles 1, later to be known as 'The Martyr' after his execution in 1649, a Roger Pack married Ann Silverwood at the famous church of St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on February 12th 1625. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfridus Silverwode, which was dated August 18th 1560, a witness at Giggleswick, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as '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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