Duckworth Genealogy (Appendix A-1)

Union County, Georgia                                                                      The GAGenWeb Project

Union County, Georgia
Duckworth Family Section
My Family

written and compiled by John Francis Duckworth
contributed by John Francis Duckworth and Jerrell Duckworth
Updated August 12, 2012

Appendix A
The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname DUCKWORTH

page 1

Following is a history of the English name “Duckworth” which was published by The Hall of Names Ltd., 205 St. John's Hill, Battersea, London SW1 1TH, England

The Saxon Chronicle, compiled by monks in the 10th century, now reposes in the British Museum. It is a history of the Saxon settlement of England. 

History researchers have examined reproductions of such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book (1086), the Ragman Rolls (1291-1296), the Curia Regis Rolls, The Pipe Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, parish registers, baptismal, tax records. They found the first record of the name Duckworth in Cambridgeshire where they had been seated from early times.

Throughout the centuries your name, Duckworth, occurred in many records, manuscripts and documents but not always with your exact spelling. From time to time the surname was spelt Duckworth, Dykeward, Duckword, Duckward, Duckwort, Duckwart, Dickworth, Dickward, Dickword, Dickwort, and these variations in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials frequently spelled the names phonetically. As a result the same person would be recorded differently on birth, baptismal, marriage, and death certificates.

The Saxon race gave names to many English surnames, not the least of which was the surnames Duckworth. The Saxons, invited into England by the ancient Britons of the 4th century, were a fair skinned people their home was the Rhine Valley. They were led by two brothers, General\Commanders Hengist and Horsa, The Saxons settled in the county of Kent, in southern England. During the next four hundred years they forced the Ancient Britons back into Wales and Cornwall in the west and Cumberland to the north. The Angles occupied the eastern coast, the south folk in Suffolk, and the north folk in Norfolk. Under Saxon rule England prospered under a series of High Kings, the last of which was Harold.

In 1066, there was the Norman invasion from France and their victory at the Battle of Hastings. In 1070, Duke William took an army of 40,000 north and wasted the northern counties, forcing many rebellious Norman nobles and Saxons to flee over the border into Scotland. The Saxons who remained in the south were not treated well under hostile Norman rule, and many also moved northward.

Nevertheless, this notable family name, Duckworth, emerged as an influential name in the county of Cambridge. The surname Duckworth comes from the occupation "dykeward," who was a man appointed on the east coast to watch the embankments. In pre-Henry VIII times the name was spelled Dykeward and over the years changed to the contemporary name Duckworth. From the eastern counties of England, the name traveled to the southwest counties to Topsam in Devonshire and Somerset. It also traveled to the northern county of Lancashire, where in 1310 Henry Duckworth held the estate of Oswaldtwistle and Duckworth, in the parish of Whalley. By 1379 Henricus Duckworth had inherited the family estates, continuing a tradition of a long line of Duckworths in this northern community. In the south the Baronet of Topsham had established estates and manors in Devonshire.

In Barwen in Somerset, another branch acquired estates. In nearby Hampshire, the Duckworths were included in a census of large landowners in the middle ages. Sometime later the family moved to London and followed business pursuits. At this same time Lancashire Duckworths moved into the commercial center at that time, the city of Manchester. Those Duckworths who stayed in England continued to flourish, especially in the south. Notable amongst the family at this time was Duckworth at Cambridgeshire.

During the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries England was ravaged by plagues, famine, and religious conflict. Protestantism, the newly found political fervor of Cromwellianism and democratic government, and the remnants of the Roman Church rejected all non believers. The changing rule caused burnings, hangings and banishments of all sects and creeds. Many families were freely "encouraged" to migrate to Ireland, or to the "colonies." Some were rewarded with grants of lands, others were banished.

The families who migrated to Ireland became known as the Adventurers for land in Ireland. Protestant settlers "undertook" to keep their faith, being granted lands previously owned by the Catholic Irish. There is no record of this distinguished family migrating to Ireland, but this does not preclude the possibility of individual migration.

The New World offered better opportunities and some migrated voluntarily. Some left Ireland, disillusioned with promises unfulfilled, but many left directly from their home territories. Some also moved to the European continent.

Members of the family name Duckworth sailed aboard the huge armada of three-masted sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships such as the Hector, the Dove and the Rambler, were pestilence ridden, sometimes 30% to 40% of the passenger list never reaching their destination.

During the course of our research we also determined the many Coats Of Arms granted to different branches of the family name.

The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was: On a silver background, a black cross with a gold cross surmounted, and at the top two dragon's heads, surrounded by four arrow heads.

The Crest was: A dragon's head surrounded by four arrow heads.

Another account of the history of the Duckworth name follows. This is copied from a paper furnished to me by Margaret Duckworth Sewell.

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Go to Appendix A, p. 2
Go to Appendix A, p. 3
Go to Appendix B, p. 1
Go to Appendix B, p. 2
Go to Appendix B, p. 3
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Go to Appendix B, p. 11
Go to Appendix B, p. 12

                         This page was last updated on September 2, 2012