This interesting name has two possible origins, the first and most likely being a locational name from Worthy in Hampshire or Devon. Three places in Hampshire are in fact, named with this word i.e. Headbourne Kings and Martyr Worthy. Recorded as Worthige in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dated 825 and as Ordie in "the Domesday Book of 1086, the three placenames were specifically named Hydeburne Worthy, Chinges Ordia and Wordia le Martre in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, dated 1157 to 1270. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Worthing" meaning "an enclosure". The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 11th Century, (see below). One Geoffrey de la Worthy appears in the 1293 "Fine Court Rolls of Devon". The name may also have originated as a complimentary nickname for a respected member of the community (from the Olde English "weorth", valuable). On January 29th 1627, Francis Worthy, an infant was christened in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwine aet Worthige, which was dated 1001, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of Hampshire, during the reign of King Ethelred, "The Unready", 978 - 1016. 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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