Attwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Attwood has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in the county of Salop where they were found since the early Middle Ages. Their name means at the wood, from atte wood. The original bearer, therefore, would have lived at the edge of a wood. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Attwood family

The surname Attwood was first found in Somerset where Thomas Attewode was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1243. [3]

By the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the spellings and entries were numerous: Geoffrey Ate Wode, Huntingdonshire; Matheus Atewode, Cambridgeshire; Agnes Attewode, Oxfordshire; and Gilbert atte Wode, Sussex. [4]

In Norfolk, we found: John Attewode, 1391; and William Attewood, 1439. [5] The next entry was Robert Atwode who was listed in Oxfordshire in 1457. [3]

"Its commonest medieval spelling is Atte-Wode, afterwards softened to A'Wood. Almost every considerable wood surnamed a family, and hence the commonness of the appellation, amounting in the Lond. Direct, in its various forms to more than 300 traders. This surname is found so early as Domesday in the form of De Silva. Suffolk. " [2]

"The Attwoods belong to a very ancient Worcestershire family of position. In the reign of Richard III. John Attwood, Esq., was the principal tenant of Northwick. Anthony Attwood was buried in Claines church in 1611." [6]

In the New World, 'Atwood has ramified strongly in Boston and the district. Philip Atwood sailed for New England in the Suzan and Ellin in 1625.' [7]

Early History of the Attwood family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Attwood research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1903, 1426, 1454, 1643, 1712, 1650, 1712, 1701, 1767, 1783 and 1787 are included under the topic Early Attwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Attwood Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Attwood have been found, including Attwood, Atwood, Attewood, Atwode, Athwood and many more.

Early Notables of the Attwood family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Attwood, English Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University (1426-1454.) Peter Atwood (1643-1712), was an English Dominican friar from Warwickshire; he was several times cast into prison, and later condemned to death, but was reprieved by Charles II. [8] William Atwood (c.1650-1712), was an English lawyer, Chief Justice of New York in 1701. Thomas Attwood, the son of a trumpeter, viola-player, and coal-merchant, was born in 1767. At nine years of age he became a chorister in the Chapel Royal, where he had for his masters successively...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Attwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Attwood Ranking

In the United States, the name Attwood is the 18,353rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9]


United States Attwood migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Attwood, or a variant listed above:

Attwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Attwood who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Gilbert Attwood, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [10]
  • Richard Attwood, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [10]
  • Thomas Attwood, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1672 [10]
  • Hannah Attwood, who landed in Maryland in 1675 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Attwood Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Attwood, who arrived in South Carolina in 1701 [10]
Attwood Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Bliss Attwood, who arrived in Texas in 1836 [10]
  • Percy R Attwood, who landed in America in 1888 [10]

Canada Attwood migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Attwood Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Esau Attwood, was the owner of a fishing room at Pond Island, Greenspond Harbour, in 1778
Attwood Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Attwood migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Attwood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Attwood, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Alfred Attwood, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [13]
  • Mary Attwood, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [13]
  • Mr. Thomas Attwood, English convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • George Attwood, aged 26, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"

New Zealand Attwood migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Attwood Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Attwood, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • Susanna Attwood, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • William Attwood, aged 25, a shoemaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Mary Attwood, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • William Attwood, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Attwood migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Attwood Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Joane Attwood, who settled in Barbados in 1664
  • Richard Attwood, who settled in Barbados (with his wife and servant) in 1680

Contemporary Notables of the name Attwood (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Charles Raymond Attwood (1932-1998), American board-certified pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Stephen Stanley Attwood (1897-1965), American academic, Professor at Columbia University
  • William Hollingsworth Attwood (1919-1989), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Ambassador to Guinea, 1961-63; Kenya, 1964-66 [16]
  • William Attwood, American politician, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1746-48 [16]
  • Joseph F. Attwood, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Lansing, Michigan, 1961 [16]
  • David Attwood (b. 1952), English filmmaker
  • Dave Attwood (b. 1987), English rugby union player
  • Dr. Tony Attwood (b. 1952), English psychologist who lives in Queensland, Australia
  • Thomas Warr Attwood (1733-1775), English builder, architect and politician in Bath
  • Thomas Attwood (1765-1838), English musician and composer
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Hotten, John Camden (ed), The original lists of persons of quality; emigrants; religious exiles; political rebels; serving men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American plantations 1600-1700.New York: J. W. Bouton, 1874, Digital
  8. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  9. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THE DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND - 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839DuchessOfNorthumberland.htm
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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