This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Stanworth' in Lancashire. The placename is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'stan', stone, stones, and 'worth', which meant originally a fence or fenced enclosure, and developed into the sense of an enclosed homestead, and later a homestead on its own. The name thus means 'the homestead in a stony place'. Locational surnames were usually given to those former inhabitants of a place who left to live or work in another area, as in one Joane Stanworth, christened on the 12th February 1557 at Attleborough, in Norfolk. In London, William Stanworth married Bridgett Child at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf, one the 5th May 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Laurence Stanworth (marriage to Agnes Baron), which was dated 13th January 1548, Great Harwood, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward VI, The Boy King, 1547 - 1553. 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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