Awkward History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Awkward was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Awkward is for a guard having derived from the Old English word ward, meaning guardian or watchman.  
Early Origins of the Awkward family
The surname Awkward was first found in Northampton, where they held a family seat from ancient times, and the first on record was Osbert de Varde of Givendale in the year 1130, who was a descendant of Fouques de Vardes of Normandy. His descendent Simon Ward was Governor of Pontefract Castle in 1324. 
John Warde is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1194, while in the Hundred Rolls for 1273 there is a William le Warde in Oxford, a Simon le Ward in Buckinghamshire, and two further le Wardes, one in Hampshire and one in Cambridgeshire. 
Some of the family were found at Barford in Warwickshire. "Barford was for three centuries the residence of the ancestors of Charles Thomas Warde, Esq., now of Clopton, in the county. Of this family was Rowley Warde, an eminent lawyer in the reigns of James and Charles I., commonly called Old Serjeant Warde, and in the parish register styled the Right Worshipful Rowley Warde; who died at the age of 96, about the year 1650. His son, Thomas Warde, barrister at law, served as an officer in the army of Charles at the battle of Edge Hill, and kept the royal flag flying on the top of the church tower here, facing his own house; which caused Cromwell's army after the battle, on its march to Kenilworth Castle, eight miles distant, to fire shots at the tower, the marks of which still remain. Among other relics [in the church of Barford] is a curious tablet of freestone, part of a monument, which the rector, the Rev. William Somerville, has had placed in the wall of the vestry, with this inscription: 'Here lyeth the body of Thomas Warde, Gentleman, parson of Barford, 2d son of Thomas and Martha Warde; he died in 1532.' " 
Later the name was found further north in Scotland, where "John de Warde was a tenant of the earl of Douglas in the barony of Kilbucho, 1376. Robert Waird was burgess of Stirling in 1601." 
Early History of the Awkward family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Awkward research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1324, 1842, 1845, 1553, 1622, 1572, 1643, 1597, 1659, 1617, 1689, 1629, 1681, 1662, 1681, 1629, 1696, 1680, 1677, 1720, 1710, 1713, 1715, 1638, 1714 and are included under the topic Early Awkward History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Awkward Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Ward, Warde, Varde and others.
Early Notables of the Awkward family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Baron Simon Ward; John Ward (c.1553-1622), a notorious English pirate around the turn of the 17th century; Samuel Ward (1572-1643), an English academic and a master at the University of Cambridge; Andrew Warde (ca 1597-1659), a colonist, judge, farmer, and one of the founding fathers of the Connecticut towns of Weathersfield, Stamford, and Fairfield; Seth Ward (1617-1689), an English mathematician, astronomer, and bishop; John Ward (1629-1681), English vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon (1662...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Awkward Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Awkward family to Ireland
Some of the Awkward family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Awkward family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Awkward or a variant listed above: Andrew Ward, who settled in New England in 1630; Elizabeth Ward, who settled in Virginia in 1635; George and Henry Ward, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1637.
Related Stories +
The Awkward Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Comme je fus
Motto Translation: As I was.
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)