This Olde English locational name derives from the village in East Cheshire called "Southworth", but originally spelt "Southword" and locally pronounced "Suthard". The two "modern" variant spellings of the name are Southward and Southard, the original elements being "suo" (south) and the suffix "worth" meaning "an enclosure or farm". In the 1212 Court of Fees Register for Lancashire, (the geographical boundaries have since changed), the name is spelt as "Suthewrthe", whilst in the reign of Edward 111 the first name holder (below) received a grant of a Coat of Arms being a silver field charged with a chevron, between three cross crosslets, all black.This grant was confirmed in Somerset in 1623 suggesting that the family had moved. Other recordings include - Alice Southard, christened at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney on October 19th 1679. Francis Southard, a witness at St. Sepulchre's Church, London on September 13th 1712, and in Pitminster, Somerset, Thomas Suthard married Sarah Taylor, on December 23rd 1793. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Golbert Southworth which was dated circa 1340 of Southworth, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111 known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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