This interesting surname rare in England is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of this "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place was probably located in the south-west of England, where the placename elements which comprise the name are common.These are the old English "Lawerce", lark and the old English "worthig", meaning enclosure, homestead and often found as "worthy" in the south-west, hence to place name may mean "the enclosure of the people who netted birds (larks)". William, son of John and Mary Larkworthy was christened at St. Olave, Southwark, London on March 28th, 1779 while one James Larkworthy married Sarah Stoneman at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London on November 5th 1827. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Larkworthy, marriage to Lawrence Horne, which was dated August 28th 1595 in London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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