Origins of Cudworth:
This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a geographical surname acquiring from either of the places called "Cudworth" in West Yorkshire and Somerset. The place in Yorkshire is the most suitable source for the carriers of the new surname, and noted in the Yorkshire Records of 1185 as "Cudeuurdia," and as "Cutheworth" in 1263. The name means "Cuha's home" acquired from the Old English pre 7th Century particular name "Cutha," a source of "cuth," which means popular, well known, with "worth," which means a building, a hamlet, often a secondary hamlet reliant on the main village. Geographical Surnames evolved when old residents of a place shifted to another area, frequently to seek work, and were best recognized by the name of their mother town. The first recording of the surname from the Somerset hamlet is the baptism, in 1572, of Ralph Cudworth at Wernell Hall in Somerset. The wedding of Jane Cudworth and Rodger Mousdale listed in London in September 1585.
More common variations are: Cutworth, Cadworth, Cudwerth, Cudwarth, Cudwirth, Cuttworth, Cotworth, Cadorath, Cadoreth, Gutworth.
The surname Cudworth first appeared in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Kings of the Estates. The Saxon effect of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman rule overcame. But Saxon surnames remained and the family name first introduced in the year 1384 when John of Cudworth held lands in that shire.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Cudworth, dated about 1543, in the "Rotherham," Yorkshire. It was during the time of King Henry VIII, who was known to be the “Bluff King Hal," dated 1509-1547. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Cudworth had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Cudworth landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Cudworth who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included James Cudworth (c.1612-1682) who was an English immigrant to Scituate, Massachusetts with his wife Mary in 1634. He was an early American Assistant to the Plymouth General Court, Assistant Governor, head of the colony’s militia in King Philip’s War and Deputy Governor. James Cudworth, who landed in New England in 1656.
The following century saw much more Cudworth surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Cudworth who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included J W Cudworth, who landed in San Francisco, California in the year 1850.
Some of the population with the surname Cudworth who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Jane Cudworth at the age of 21, who was a domestic servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in the year 1878.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Cudworth: United States 863; England 457; Canada 27; New Zealand 19; Australia 13; Scotland 2; Netherlands 2; Northern Ireland 2; South Africa 1; Spain 1.
James Cudworth (c.1612 – c.1682) was a Per artist Eugene Stratton. He was one of the most important and attractive men in Plymouth Colony. Over his long life, he gave services as an Assistant to the Plymouth General Court, Assistant Governor, leader of the colony’s militia in King Philip’s War as well as being Lieutenant Governor. He was also an administrator to the New England Confederation four times between 1655 and 1681.
James Cudworth (1817-99), was a Locomotive Superintendent of the South-Eastern Railway.
Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688), was an English scholar.
Tom Cudworth (b. 1964), was an American screenwriter.