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About the study
The Raxworthy one-name study commenced in 1971. The initial impetus came, not from a desire to trace the ancestry of the family, but a letter from a complete stranger. Mrs Pauline Davies was the granddaughter of a Captain Charles Raxworthy RN, and she wrote "I noticed your name in the Births Column of the Daily Telegraph and, as it is such an unusual name, I wondered if we might be related. If this is the case, I have some old miniatures and, as I have no children would like to think that they might be in the Raxworthy family once again." Thus began my hunt for the Raxworthy family. It was several years before I established the vital link. Sadly by that time Mrs Davies had passed away and I know not what became of the Raxworthy souvenirs.
The registered names of the variants are Rexworthy, Roxworthy, Wraxworthy.Wrexworthy and Renworthy, although at this stage I am not certain about the latter. Raxworthy and Rexworthy have been used interchangeably over the centuries and it may prove to be the case that the original name was in fact Rexworthy. A family member in America told me that her family had originally been Raxworthy but had changed the name to Rexworthy as this was preferred.
Raxworthy is of Anglo-Saxon origin and appears to come from Somerset and Wiltshire. Whether or not it is occupational or locative has still to be determined.
Historical occurrences of the name
None of the Raxworthys have achieved greatness or infamy, as far as I am aware. But one Ann Raxworthy, who died in 1828, definitely has a curiosity value. She lived in Stockton (Wiltshire) and was lady's maid to the Lady of the Manor, Mrs Biggs. Every Sunday she would walk to church dressed in fine black silk. On her deathbed she feared she had been too proud and asked to be buried where all might walk over her grave. Accordingly she was interred at the entrance to the west door of the church - the inscription above has already been renewed three times.
Most of the core data has now been recorded using the Custodian 4 database. Other data is still in the process of being collected and recorded, so it is still very much a work in progress.