Recorded in various modern spellings including Unsworth, Ounsworth and Unworth, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from the place called Unsworth in Lancashire. The placename is recorded as "Hunderwrth" in the Lancashire Charter Rolls of 1291, and as "Undesworth" in 1322, and means "Hund's settlement", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century male personal name "Hund", from "hund", dog, with "worth", an enclosure or settlement, usually a subsidiary one dependent on a main village. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor and to those former inhabitants of a place who left to live or work in another area. The development of the surname in Lancashire has included Unysworth (1569), Onnsworthe (1580), Undsworth (1611), Unesworth (1634), and Ownsworth (1640). The marriage of William Unsworth to Alis Cropper was recorded at Middleton by Oldham on May 11th 1554. The coat of arms granted to the family of Mogul Hall, near Liverpool is black, on a bend erminois between three gold crosses pattee fitchee, and four red crescents. 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 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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