This name is of English locational origin from a place thus called in the Parish of Middleton, Lancashire. Recorded as Assewrthe in the 1236 Pipe Rolls of the county and as Asheworth in the 1347 Fine Court Rolls, the name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "aesc" meaning "ash" plus "worth", an enclosure or homestead, hence "homestead" by the "ash trees". The surname from this source is first recorded towards the end of the 16th Century, (see below). In 1611, John Ashworth of Wolfenden, Lancashire, appeared in the Wills Records at Chester and on September 7th 1624 Abell Ashworth and Grace Lees were married in Middleton by Oldham, Lancashire. Sir Charles Ashworth (deceased 1832) was a Major-General who served in the Peninsula Wars, Knight Commander of the Bath (1831). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Abell Asshworthe, son of Robert Asshworthe, which was dated December 12th 1596, christened in Rochdale, Lancashire, 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.