Norswithy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Norswithy history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Norswithy history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Norswithy family originally lived in Devon at the manor of Knaworth, which later came to be spelled Noseworthy.
Early Origins of the Norswithy family
The surname Norswithy was first found in Devon and Cornwall.
"The manor of Burnere or Brenere [in the parish of Egloshayle, Cornwall] belonged to the see of Exeter, when Doomsday Survey was taken, and here the Bishops had a country seat. At a much later period, it was held under the see by the family of Nosworthy. But their lease expiring in 1701, on the sudden death of Edward Nosworthy, Esq. the last of this family, Sir Jonathan Trelawney, then bishop of Exeter, granted a new lease to his own kindred." 
"The manor of Tregeare has belonged from time immemorial to the see of Exeter. Prior to the commencement of the last century, it had been for several generations held on lease by the family of Nosworthy." 
Early History of the Norswithy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Norswithy research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1481, 1530, 1502, 1503 and 1523 are included under the topic Early Norswithy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Norswithy Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since 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, 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, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Noseworthy, Norseworthy, Nosworthy, Norseworth, Noseworth and many more.
Early Notables of the Norswithy family (pre 1700)
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Norswithy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Norswithy family
Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Norswithy or a variant listed above: Tristrum and Ann Nosworthy, who arrived in Virginia in 1639; Joan Nosworthy, who came to Virginia in 1664; Edw. Nosworthy, who was on record in Virginia in 1666.
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- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print