This interesting surname of English origin is a locational name, from a place "Illingworth", near Halifax, West Yorkshire, deriving from the old English pre seventh century "Illingword", meaning an enclosure associated with "illa", which is a personal name from "hild", battle. The old English "worth", originally meant fence or enclosure but later meant an enclosure round a homestead. The surname itself first appears in records at the beginning of the 14th Century, (see below). Hugo de Ingleworth was recorded in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379, as did John de Illyngworth, Agnes de Elyngworth and Johannes de Ilkyngworth. (The "de" in these early surnames means, "of, who comes from", in this case Illingworth). Robert Illyngworth married Margaret Illigworth on September 20th 1546 at Halifax. In the modern idiom the surname has several spelling variations including: Ellingworth, Ellingsworth, Illingworth and Illingsworth.Notable namebearers include Cayley Illingworth (1758 - 1823), a topographer at Cambridge University (1787) and brother of William Illingworth (1764 - 1845), deputy-keeper of the records (1805 - 1819) and attorney at the King's bench (1788). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice de Illingworth, which was dated 1314, (Yorkshire), in the "Court Rolls of the manor of Wakefield", during the reign of King Edward ll, known as "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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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