The surname of ASHWORTH was a locational name 'of Ashworth' a chapelry in the parish of County Lancashire, anciently Asseheworshe. Almost every city, town or village extant in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. While a man lived in a town or village he would not be known by its name, as that would be no means of identification - all in the village would be so named. But when a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or by the name of the land which he owned. Some had the name of a manor or village because they were lords of that place and owned it, but the majority descend from vassals of freeman who once had lived there. Early records of the name mention Edward Ashworthe who was documented in County Lancashire in 1273, and Edward Ashworthe of Yorkshire, appears in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Ashworth was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1617. Buried. Henry Ashworth, at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1641. Robert Sewell married Anne Ashworth at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1765. John Ashworth, preacher and author was born at Ashworth (1813-1875). Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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