Coweard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Coweard family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Coweard is for a tender of cattle. The name is an adaptation of the Old English word cuhyrde, of the same meaning. It derives from the roots, cu, meaning cow, and hierde, meaning herdsman. 
"Although the popular derivation of this opprobrious word from 'cow-herd' (whose occupation would be regarded with some disdain by the chivalrous in the Middle Ages) is untenable, I think it quite probable that the surname may be from that source, like Shepherd, Hayward, and other similar names." 
With due regard to the these sources, we must revisit the Norman origin for a moment. In this case, the name was "from La Couarde, near Rochelle. Radulphus de Coarda occurs in Normandy 1198. " 
Early Origins of the Coweard family
The surname Coweard was first found in Lancashire "in the Furness district."  Now part of Cumbria in northwestern England, this peninsula also known as Low Furness, an area of villages, agricultural land and low-lying moorland.
Searching through early rolls, we found Thomas le Cuherde was listed in Essex in 1255 and a few years later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William le Kukerde, Cambridgeshire; and John Kuhirde, Huntingdonshire. Over in Cumberland, the Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III listed John le Kuhyrde, 20 Edward I and Richard le Kuhyrde (both in the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign.)
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two listings for the family: Cecilia Cowehird, laborer; and Robertus Cowehyrde. 
The famed English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, Noel Coward (1899-1973) hailed from Teddington, Middlesex, a south-western suburb of London.
Early History of the Coweard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coweard research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1637, 1663, 1657, 1725, 1656, 1657, 1674, 1675, 1677, 1679, 1680, 1738 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Coweard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Coweard Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Coweard family name include Coward, Cowerd and others.
Early Notables of the Coweard family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Coward (1657?-1725), English physician, born at Winchester in 1656 or 1657. "His mother was sister of Dr. John Lamphire, principal of Hart Hall, Oxford, and Camden professor of history, whose property he apparently inherited (Hearne, Collections, i. 248). In May 1674 Coward was admitted as a commoner of Hart Hall; and in 1675 a scholar of Wadham College. He proceeded B.A. in 1677, and in January 1679-1680 was elected fellow of Merton. " 
Another William Coward (d. 1738), was "a London merchant, famous for his liberality to dissent, possessed large property, including...
Migration of the Coweard family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Coweard family to immigrate North America: John and Joanne Coward who settled in Virginia in 1654; James Coward settled in Maryland in 1774; Thomas Coward settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1823..