Show ContentsAlward History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Alward dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from a member of the family who worked as a keeper of a hall. The surname Alward is composed of the elements hall, which denoted one who was employed at such a manor-house or hall, and ward, which was originally applied to one who was a watchman. [1]

"The Domesday Book Æluuard, Aluuard, Eluuardus may represent OE Ælfweard ‘elf guard’ which is clearly represented above or OE Æðelweard ‘noble guard’ which survives as Aylward and also appears as Alward. In the 12th century the two names were confused." [2] But earlier records show "AElward and Ailward were personal names before 1086. [3]

Early Origins of the Alward family

The surname Alward was first found in Suffolk at Bury St Edmunds where the first entries for the name were singularly Aluardus (1182-1186), and Alfwardus pistor (1200-1211.) [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included entries for Bernard Aylward, Wiltshire; Beatrix Aylward, Buckinghamshire; and Alan Alward, Cambridgeshire. [4] In Norfolk, records there show John Ayleward, Norwich, 1325 and Hamond Ayleward, vicar of Swardeston, Norfolk, 1376. [5] Early Somerset records show Nicholas Alyward, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign. [6]

In Scotland, "John Aluart was "office bearer," [and was] probably procurator of the Scottish Nation in the University of Orleans, 1418." [7]

Early History of the Alward family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alward research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1626 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Alward History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alward Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Alward has undergone many spelling variations, including Allward, Alward, Alwood, Allwood, Alwart, Ailward, Alyward, Aylward, Ailard, Allard, Aillard, Ailard and many more.

Early Notables of the Alward family

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alward Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Alward family to Ireland

Some of the Alward family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Alward migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Alward were among those contributors:

Alward Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Alward who settled in Maryland in 1666
Alward Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Alward, who arrived in New Jersey in 1700 [8]
Alward Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Alward who settled in Boston in 1849
  • E D Alward, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]

Canada Alward migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Alward Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Alward (post 1700) +

  • William M. Alward (1857-1909), American politician, Mayor of Bozeman, Montana, 1899-1901 [10]
  • Robert Alward (b. 1844), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Ottawa County 2nd District, 1897-1902 [10]
  • John C. Alward, American politician, Member of Ohio State Senate, 1850-53 [10]
  • Dennis Eldred Alward (1859-1930), American Republican politician, Secretary of Michigan Republican Party, 1903-07, 1915-19, 1927; Secretary of the Michigan Senate, 1913-30; Speaker, Republican National Convention, 1916 [10]
  • Benjamin R. Alward, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1912 [10]
  • Fred Alward McCain (1917-1997), Canadian politician
  • General James Alward Van Fleet (1892-1992), U.S. Army general during World War II and the Korean War. Among his many decorations was the Distinguished Service Cross with two Oak leaf clusters [11]


  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. James Van Fleet. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) James Van Fleet. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Van_Fleet


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