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Home: Surnames: Dewhurst Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Meaning of "Dewhurst"
Posted by: Chris Dewhurst Date: February 19, 1999 at 12:02:51
In Reply to: Meaning of by Denise Dewhurst of 261


I have only just discovered this web-site by accident really, so I hope that the following information is not too late for your daughter to use on her school report.
Some books refer to a small wood or “hurst” frequently engulfed in mist or “dew” hence people living in this area were known as living at or near dewey hurst. For example Denise of dewey hurst. Rather like Robin of Loxley - in the case of “Robin Hood”. The best description that I have come across, which ties in with most books on the subject is that of the Historical Research Centre:

Family name DEWHURST

The English name Dewhurst is toponymic in origin, belonging to that group of surnames derived from the place where the original bearer once dwelt or where he once held land. In this case the surname indicates simply “one from Dewhurst”, a Lancashire toponym found near Blackburn. Indeed, the surname is common in Lancashire and the north of England in general. The name in fact derives from the Old English “deaw hyrst” and means “wet wood” or “damp wood”, a feature near which the hamlet was located.

The surname is first documented in Lancashire in the early fourteenth century when one Roger de le Dewyhurst appears in the Coucher Book of Whalley Abby around the year 1300. In the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 his name is recorded again as Roger de Dewyhurst of Livesey in the Parish of Wilpshire cum Dinkley, while one Adam del Dewyhurst, also of Wilpshire, is noted in the same sources.
In the records of wills at Chester in the sixteenth century there is a note of the testaments of one Robert Dewhurst of Rivington in the year 1588, and of one Ellen Dewhurst of Spotland in 1592.
The surname is also found today as Dewhirst and as Jewhurst, a dialectic phonetic spelling.
The name seems to have appeared in London around 1595, however numbers have remained relatively small in Southern England.

I obtained this information about seven years ago when I started to trace my family tree but I hit a deadlock around 1790. I live not far from London so I guess you could call me one of the London branch.


Chris Dewhurst.


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