This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a parish and village thus called near Caxton in Cambridgeshire. Recorded as "Elesworth" in the "Saxon Diplomatic Codex", dated 809, and as "Elesworde" in the Domesday Book of 1086, the place has as its initial element the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Elli", itself a short form of the various compound names with a first element "aelf", elf, plus "worth", enclosure, homestead, village; hence, "Elli's enclosure". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Albin de Ellesworthe and Thomas de Ellesworth (Cambridgeshire, 1273 and 1292 respectively). On March 16th 1565, Mary Elsworth, an infant, was christened at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sanson de Ellesworth, which was dated 1272, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.