The Charlesworth Family

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An intriguing name of English origin which is a locational name from a place so called, a hamlet near Chapel-en-le-Frith, in Derbyshire. The earliest recording of this placename appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Chevenesuurde”, and in the City Court and Eyre Rolls of Chester of 1286 as “Chauelisworth”. The name apparently comes from an Old English pre 7th Century byname derived from “ceafli”, jaw, with “worth”, an enclosure, but the first element has suffered from late folk etymological associations with the personal name Charles. There are three namebearers listed in the National Biography, two being from Charlesworth (1782 – 1864) a Rector, and his daughter Marie-Louisa Charlesworth, author and the other Edward Parker Charlesworth (1783 – 1853) Physician to an asylum for the insane, where he advocated humane treatment for mentally ill patients, a revolutionary idea at the time. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes de Chalesworth, which was dated 1379, The Yorkshire Poll Tax Records, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as Richard of Bordeaux, 1378 – 1400. 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.

Our visit to Cornwall 2016

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Our visit to Cumbria 2016

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