This very unusual surname would seem to be recorded in two forms as Youthed and Youthead. Both appear as if by magic at the end of the 18th century in the London and Kent area, but with no explanation as to how they arrived there or where from? Indeed it is the 'where from' which prevents us from providing a total explanation as to the names origin and meaning. It could be a nickname from some obscure event in the past where perhaps a more elderly lady took a younger man in marriage, but more likely it is a dialectal corruption of a place name.Sadly we are unable to find anything like 'Yoth-head' in any known gazetter or from the Medieval 'lost' village lists, but as at least five thousand sites, now represented by surnames, remain to be rediscovered, this is not wholly unusual. It has been suggested that the name may be a development of 'Yewdale' from Cumbria, as this name is found in many known forms, this is possible, although 'Yedale' to Youthed or Youthead, does seem to be stretching things somewhat. The name is recorded in Kent in 1803 when the family of Youthead were recorded at Union Street Wesleyan chapel, Maidstone between November 7th of that year and November 20th 1808. In London Elizabeth Youthed married Fenton Brown at St Leonards, Shoreditch, on July 31st 1805, and Susanna Yothed married James Scott at the same church on June 18th 1815. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew Youthead, which was dated December 1st 1773, christened at St Saviours, Southwark, London, during the reign of King George 111, known as 'Farmer george', 1760 - 1820. 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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