Note: At the 2004 reunion, we showed pictures of the "Howarth" cabin location. Ron Haworth, editor
Mr. John T. Howarth, of New Zealand writes that he has traced his ancestry back to Haworths in 18th century with connections to Duxbury's in Accrington and Bury Lancashire. His family name progressed from Haworth to Howorth, then Howarth, which he believes was quite normal apparently as they were all spoken in the same dialect. John wrote that he made a lot of use of Libraries with correspondence to Bury Accrington and Rochdale libraries and the use of some old volumes on Surnames and Heraldry in his library at Hamilton New Zealand.
Mr. Howarth volunteers that if there are any members with similar connections, he would be happy to forward his information.
Here is text of what John wrote:
The Haworth/Howarth name according to Lancashire sources was spelled according to local custom. That is, the clerk in the church would listen to the word in local dialect and write down his interpretation. In general Haworth was the result in rural areas and around Haslingden and also in the Southeast around Oldham and Middleton. Whereas Howarth was common in Bury and Rochdale with Howorth as a variation.
Before 1700, it was Hearwarthe and before that Huarth from the Anglo Saxon or Norse, was used. The name is commonly thought to mean something like " secure place on a mound". After listening to versions of what it sounded like over 200 years ago I cant help thinking of "Hearth" with visions of sitting in comfort in front of a winters fire with the screen on the hearth. Yes I date back that far!!
It must remembered that until the 19th Century, 90 per cent of the population were at the best semi-illiterate even many of the so called gentry. From my sources, it appears the name came in the 1400's when surnames became compulsory and refers to the large Estate just north of Rochdale called Great Howarth.
In the 1600's the Howard's, a noble family whose name is a personal one dating back to the Norman conquest, built the Great Haworth House on the site of ancient buildings. Some sources credit them with the name. However Haworth/Howarth was by then well established in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Incidentally those hopefuls who pepper the internet with references to the origin of the name as Haworth in Yorkshire are just that. The general statement in publications I have read refer to a family moving north from the South of England in the 12th Century and establishing a holding at Great Howarth. This was occurred around the time that Rochdale was established as a village.
For those people that are into Heraldry, my earliest reference is the granting in 1664 by Charles, following the defeat of Cromwell when a coat of arms was granted to Haworth of Thurcroft (Sorry cant tell you where it is). The description reads: "AZ A BEND COTISED AR BETW TWO STAGS HEADS COUPED OF THE SECOND" Herraldry buffs can no doubt work that out in English.
Other heraldry granted since then include; Haworth of Manchester Haworth of Highercroft, and Haworth of Parkhead & Dunscar. A Sir Richard Haworth of Oldham was a personal friend of Prince George (later George 111) who in his early days was frequently banished from London for his outrageous behavior.
Editor's Note: Anyone wanting to contact John can do so by writing me (email@example.com) for his e-mail address.
Return to The Name Index page