This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname, found mainly in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and originating in the place called Howarth in Lancashire, in the parish of Rochdale, or the place called Haworth in West Yorkshire. The meaning and derivation of the placenames differ slightly, although as the surnames Howarth and Haworth have been used interchangeably for hundreds of years. Howarth means "the enclosed settlement on the mound", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hoh", mound, hill, and "worth", enclosure, homestead, while Haworth derives from the Olde English "haga", meaning "hedged enclosure or hawthorn hedge", with "worth", as before. Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The will of Ann Howarth, of Carwshaw Booth, Lancashire, was recorded in 1616. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Hawrth, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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