This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Wadsworth near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wadesuurde", and in the 1246 Yorkshire Feet of Fines as "Wadeswurth", and means "Waeddi's enclosure", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Waeddi", from "wadan", to go; (Wada was the name of a legendary sea-giant), with "-worth", enclosure, settlement. The development of the surname from this source includes: Alicia de Waddesworth (1379, Yorkshire); Waddysworth (1556, ibid.); Dorothie Wadsworth (1592, London); and Wordsworth (1668, Yorkshire).The modern surname can be found recorded as Wadsworth and Wordsworth. Recordings of the name from Yorkshire Church Registers include the marriage of John Wadsworth and Margaret Ingga on October 25th 1546, in Halifax. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Waddeswrth, which was dated 1275, in the "Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield", Yorkshire, 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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