Unsworth Surname Genealogy

The Unsworth surname comes from the place-name Unsworth near
Bury in Lancashire. The place-name derives from the Old English
personal name Hund, meaning
“hound” or “dog,” plus worth,
meaning “homestead” or “enclosure” – hence “Hund’s
It was recorded as Hunderwrth in 1291 and Undesworth
in 1322. The name is believed to be of Saxon origin. It
appeared in The Saxon Chronicle
that was compiled by monks in the 10th century.Other worth-ending
place-names, either in Lancashire or Yorkshire, that have become
surnames are Ainsworth, Duckworth, Illingworth and – probably the best
known –
Unsworth Resources on

Unsworth Ancestry

The Unsworths were a long-established Lancashire family.

“A mile and a half on the south
side of Bury is an old
farmhouse, the residence in former times of a family of some note and
still occupied by a lineal descendant. The family of Unsworth has
possessed this property, according to tradition, ever since the time of
the Conquest and there are certainly relics to prove its antiquity.”

These Unsworths intermarried over time with many of the distinguished
families in
southern Lancashire and the Wirral. The
of Redvales in Bury lived at the
on the banks of the Roach river from the early 17th

The Unsworth family must have
spread west from the Bury area at an early date as the
name began to crop up in places such as Wigan and Liverpool. Many
remained strong adherents of the Roman
Catholic faith. In 1717 the estates of Edward Unsworth in
the Winwick area were registered as Papist and the estates of
George Unsworth in Markland near Wigan were confiscated in
the same year for the same reason.

prospered as a merchant in Liverpool in the late
century. He lived at Maghull Hall (there is an Unsworth chapel at
the local church). His son Thomas married well and inherited the
estate and
manor of Huyton Hey in 1814. Both he and the family he married
into were Catholic. One branch of this family later emigrated to
Brockway in Pennsylvania.

Another Unsworth family were butchers in Wigan from the early 19th
century. Four generations of the family traded, first at Coopers
Row in the Wiend and then at Greenough Street. Thomas
Unsworth and his sons operated Unsworth Cartage & Haulage in Goose
Green, Wigan. The company still runs.

Unsworths in Culcheth near
Leigh date from the
early 17th century. They were
blacksmiths. The first Unsworths in
Leigh appeared a century or so later.
John Unsworth kept the Market
inn in the mid 19th century.
John had a small organ there and started a singing room. He was the grandfather of the Unsworths of
the St. Joseph’s Brass Band.

The Unsworth name did not spread much outside of
Lancashire. By the time of the 1891 census, 85 percent of
Unsworths were still living in Lancashire.

Canada. Giles Unsworth
was a cotton broker in Liverpool in the 1830’s who moved with his large
family to Canada in 1848. They settled in Flamboro,
Ontario. Robert and Sarah Unsworth from Wigan emigrated to Nova
Scotia in 1906 on the City of Vienna.

James Unsworth
from Bolton became
a Mormon convert and made the passage to Utah in 1861 with his first
wife. He settled in Hyrum where he ran the
store. He was the father of twenty
children from his two wives

Unsworth Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Unsworth Names

Thomas Unsworth was a prosperous late 18th century Liverpool
from Leigh near Manchester was a much acclaimed
British cinematographer.
Barry Unsworth is a British
novelist, joint winner of the Booker prize for fiction in 1992.

Select Unsworths Today

  • 7,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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