The village of Wadsworth is in the town of Halifax, West Yorkshire, the surname being popular in the area from at least the 14th Century. The place name is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Wadewrde' and late in 1202 as 'Waddeworth', the name being of Norse - Viking origin and translating as 'the farm of Wadda' - 'Wadda' being a personal name which means 'The Ford'. There are many spelling alternatives, rather unusually the original surname spelling without the 's' is now very rare although Thomas Waddoward was recorded in London in 1633 and on March 26th 1716, one Timothy Wadworth married Elizabeth Milburne at Lincolnshire Inn Chapel, Holborn. The American poet Henry Longfellow (1807 - 1882) had 'Wadsworth' as his second name. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Waddeworth, which was dated 1311, The Freemen of York Register, during the reign of King Edward II, 'Edward of Caernafon', 1307 - 1327. 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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