This surname of NORSWORTHY is a locational name, evidently some spot in counties, Devon, Wiltshire or Cornwall. Cornish naming practices are unfortunately poorly documented for the Middle Ages, but present day Cornish surnames, somewhat surprisingly, do not follow the predominantly patronymic pattern of the other Celtic languages, including Welsh. This may be attributed to the greater influence of the English bureaucracy and English naming practices in Cornwall than in Wales at the time when surnames came into use. The majority of Cornish names are habitation names and others are derived from medieval given names. Early records of the name mention Walter Noswuth, who appears in County Wiltshire in 1273, and Edward Norseworthy was documented during the reign of Edward III in County Somerset. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
Later instances of the name include Joseph Nosworthy (carpenter) and Elizabeth Pomfrett who were married at St George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1730, and William Norsworthy wed Mary Bray at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1800.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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