This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Beardwood" in Lancashire, in North Blackburn. The place is recorded in the "Lancashire Inquests" of 1258 as "Berdewrthe", and as "Berdeworthe" in 1296, in the "Records of the Manors of Henry de Lacy". The name means "Bearda's settlement", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century byname "Beard", a nickname for the wearer of a large or noticeable beard, from "beard", beard, with surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor of the place, and by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Beardwood, Bearward and Beardsworth the latter being the older form from the placename. One James Beardwood was christened in Brindle, Lancashire, on April 3rd 1687. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henicus Berdsworth (marriage to Johanna Frythe), which was dated 7th October 1570, Standish, 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.