Axworthy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Axworthy is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Axworthy is a place-name from in the county of Devon. Axworthy is a habitation surname, which comes from the category of hereditary surnames, and were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. The place-name is derived from the Old English personal name Haca, and from the Old English word worthig, which meant enclosure, or enclosed settlement. The place-name taken as a whole means settlement of a man called Haca.

Early Origins of the Axworthy family

The surname Axworthy was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Hackworthy, a tiny village noted for a wood called Hackworthy Brakes. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 A.D., this village, originally pre Conquest called Hacheurde, was held by the wife of Hervey de Hellean or Helion, a Norman noble who came from Hillion, near St. Brieux in Brittany and was a Tenant-in-Chief in Devon. This Baron Hellean was the ancestor of the Asseristons, or Asshetons, or Ashtons of Devon. It was from this same source that, conjecturally, the Hacksworthy is also derived. For further reading of the Helleans of Devon and Brittany, please refer to the Devon Worthies.

Important Dates for the Axworthy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Axworthy research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 138 and 1380 are included under the topic Early Axworthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Axworthy Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Hackworthy, Hawksworthy, Axworthy, Acksworthy and many more.

Early Notables of the Axworthy family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Axworthy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Axworthy migration to the United States

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Axworthy, or a variant listed above:

Axworthy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Axworthy, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1849

Contemporary Notables of the name Axworthy (post 1700)

  • Thomas Axworthy, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1888 [1]
  • Michael George Andrew Axworthy FRSA, FRAS (1962-2019), British academic, author, and commentator
  • Geoffrey John Axworthy, Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre, University College, Cardiff, Wales, U.K
  • Christopher S. Axworthy (b. 1947), Canadian politician
  • Lloyd Norman Axworthy (b. 1939), prominent Canadian politician, former Minister of Foreign Affairs

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Citations

  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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