Show ContentsOldsworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Oldsworth is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in the historic county of Yorkshire, where they held a manor at Holdsworth. Actually, "there are two Holdsworths in the West Riding [of Yorkshire]." [1] The family is "from either Holdsworth in Eckington or Holdsworth in Ovenden." [2] Today we cannot locate the place in Eckington, but Holdsworth House is in Ovenden, just outside of Halifax. Holdsworth House was built c. 1598, but was not held by the family.

Early Origins of the Oldsworth family

The surname Oldsworth was first found in Yorkshire where John de Haldeworth, was the first listed of the family in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The family had many name changes "from Haldeworth or Haldsworth in the 13th century, to Holdsworth or Houldsworth in the 19th [century]." [3]

As one might suspect the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 including some of the early spellings: Johannes Haldeworthe, of Leathley; Ricardus de Haldeworthe, of Southowrara; and Johannes de Haleworth, sittor. All held land there at that time. [3]

"Holsworthy, [Devon has a] market which is one of great antiquity ; and the chief fair was recorded in the time of Edward I. as having belonged to the ancestors of William Martyn from time immemorial." [4]

Early History of the Oldsworth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oldsworth research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1374, 1495, 1558, 1583, 1590, 1593, 1595, 1596, 1602, 1613, 1649, 1684 and 1746 are included under the topic Early Oldsworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oldsworth Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Oldsworth are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Oldsworth include: Holdsworth, Holesworth, Houlsworth, Holdworth, Houldworth and many more.

Early Notables of the Oldsworth family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649), English theologian, the youngest son of the Reverend Richard Holdsworth, vicar of Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he was born in 1590. "His father died in 1596, leaving his ch...
  • Daniel Halsworth or Holdsworth (1558?-1595?), English classical scholar, born in Yorkshire in or about 1558. He was ordained priest by Thomas Goldwell, bishop of St. Asaph in the reign of Queen Mary...
  • Edward Holdsworth (1684-1746), was a Latin poet and classical scholar, son of Thomas Holdsworth, rector of North Stoneham, Hampshire, was born there on 6 August 1684. [5]


United States Oldsworth migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Oldsworth or a variant listed above:

Oldsworth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Oldsworth, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [6]


  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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