Atwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Atwood name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having 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 Atwood family

The surname Atwood 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 Atwood family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Atwood 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 Atwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Atwood 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 Atwood has undergone many spelling variations, including Attwood, Atwood, Attewood, Atwode, Athwood and many more.

Early Notables of the Atwood 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 Atwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Atwood Ranking

In the United States, the name Atwood is the 1,709th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [9]

United States Atwood 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 Atwood were among those contributors:

Atwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • An Atwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • Ann Atwood, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • Philip Atwood, aged 15, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635 [10]
  • Phillip Atwood, aged 12, who arrived in New England in 1635 [10]
  • Phillipp Atwood, aged 12, who landed in America in 1635 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Atwood Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Isaac Atwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [10]
  • William Atwood, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712 [10]
  • Anne Atwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [10]
  • Edward Atwood, who landed in Connecticut in 1718 [10]
Atwood Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Atwood, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [10]
  • Daniel Atwood, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1839 [10]
  • B E Atwood, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [10]
  • E D Atwood, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [10]
  • A B Atwood, who landed in San Francisco California in 1851 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Atwood migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Atwood Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Captain Isaac Atwood, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, born in New Jersey, who settled in York County, New Brunswick c. 1783 was Captain of the Kings Am Regiment [11]
Atwood Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Simmons Atwood, who arrived in Canada in 1831

Australia Atwood migration to Australia +

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

Atwood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Atwood, British Convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Miss Frances Atwood, (b. 1826), aged 23, Irish laundress who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 17th December 1849, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [13]

New Zealand Atwood 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:

Atwood Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Clinton Atwood, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Atwood (post 1700) +

  • Casey Lee Atwood (b. 1980), American race car driver
  • Wallace Walter Atwood (1872-1949), American geographer and geologist
  • Donna Atwood (b. 1922), American figure skater, gold medal winner of the 1941 United States Figure Skating Championships
  • David Atwood (1815-1889), American Republican politician, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1868-69; Member of Republican National Committee from Wisconsin, 1868-; U.S. Representative from Wisconsin 2nd District, 1870-71 [14]
  • Curtis B. Atwood, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Watertown; Elected 1904 [14]
  • Charles W. Atwood, American politician, First Selectman of Watertown, Connecticut, 1921-22 [14]
  • Charles L. Atwood (b. 1848), American Republican politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives from Starksboro, 1888 [14]
  • Bertha Hayes Atwood, American Republican politician, Elected New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Barrington 1938 [14]
  • Arthur W. Atwood, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from South Dakota 3rd District, 1924 [14]
  • Arthur P. Atwood, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Norfolk; Defeated, 1908; Elected 1910 [14]
  • ... (Another 54 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Grover Shoe factory
  • Mrs. Clair Atwood, American employee of the Grover Shoe factory in Brockton, Massachusetts on 20th March 1905 when the boiler exploded and collapsed the wooden building; she died [15]

Suggested Readings for the name Atwood +

  • The Ancestry of One Atwood Family by Charles A. Atwood.
  • Genealogy of the Gilbert Atwood Family by Raymond Thomas Atwood.

  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. ^
  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. ^ 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
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th August 2021). Retrieved from
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from
  15. ^ California Digital Newspaper from 21st March 1905 (retrieved on 5th August 2021.) Retrieved from on Facebook
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