Recorded in various modern spellings including Unsworth, Ounsworth, Unworth, and Hunsworth, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates either from the village of Unsworth in Lancashire, or the village of Hunsworth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The Lancashire placename is first recorded as Hunderwrth in the Pipe Rolls of the year 1291, and as Undesworth in 1322. It translates as "Hund's settlement", from the Olde English pre 7th century male personal name "Hund", which has the meaning of hound or dog, with "worth", an enclosure or settlement, usually a subsidiary one, dependent on a main village. The Yorkshire village has an identical meaning being first recorded as Hunddeswrth in the year 1195. Locational surnames were usually given either to the lord of the manor, or to those former inhabitants who left to live or work in another area. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers include the marriage of William Unsworth to Alis Cropper at Middleton by Oldham in Lancashire on May 11th 1554, and in Yorkshire that of Jenet Hunsworth, the daughter of Giles Hunsworth, who was christened at Howden in EastYorkshire, on November 12th 1586. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David de Uonneswrth. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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