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What's in a Name?
From the book "Caleb Sheldon Butts Aylesworth"
by Owen R. Aylesworth
In our case there is a lot to the name.  It is possible that the name was originally Eigil, the name of the hero archer of Norse mythology.  A contraction of Eigil one might conclude would be El or Ayl.  The English town of Aylesbury was originally spelled AEglesbyrig.  Most of the records of that time were made in Latin and the name Aylworth is spelled variously as Aisselesworde, Esseleswrde, Eyleworthe and Eylewrthe.  Is it any wonder why people even today have trouble with the spelling?

The term "worth" is described as either: a homestead, bounded or walled land, a small farmstead, an enclosed valley, and a warded or protected place.  The Saxon English geographical phase, AEgels-Worth is deciphered as "awe-inspiring one's homestead". Thus we might conclude the spelling of Aylworth meant the Worth of Ayl(e) and possibly Aylesworth was the possessive form as Ayl(e)'s Worth.  A person from that place would be known as John of Aylworth. When after the Norman conquest of England as surnames were adopted it became John Aylworth.

From Arthur's Etymological Dictionary of Family Surnames (1887) we, find Aylesworth, a Cornish name that may be interpreted as a village in a meadow.  This accurately describes the village of Aylworth.  It is derived from ayles, low meadow lands, and gwerth, a worth, farm or village.  In the old English, the prefix ail is often an abbreviation of aethel, noble, worthy.

 

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