Show ContentsDurward History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Durward family

The surname Durward was first found in the Valley of the River Dee, where they held a family seat in their territories. The Pictish influence on Scottish history diminished after Kenneth Macalpine became King of all Scotland.

But those east coast families still played an important role in government and were more accessible to Government than their western highland counterparts.

The family name became associated with the de Lundins. Whether the name was an office to which Alan Durward, son of de Lundin, succeeded in 1204, or whether it was a Norman noble, Reiner Dureward from Norfolk who moved north at this time conjectural.

However, Alan married an natural born daughter of King Alexander of Scotland and eventually became Regent and justicair of Scotland. He was immortalized by Walter Scott.

On his death his lands were divided between three daughters.

We do know he was better known by his Latin name at the time, Alanus Ostiarius, Hostiarius, Dyrwart 'Le Usher' and he died in 1268. He was the son of Thomas Ostiarius, who was a benefactor to the monks of Arbroath, and a signatory to at least one charter of Alexander II, dated between 1231 and 1233 A.D. [1]

Later several lines descended in Scotland but the name continued to flourish to the south in Essex where Geoffrey Durward was recorded in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rols listed Richard Doreward in Essex. [2]

Early History of the Durward family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durward research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1465 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Durward History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Durward Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Durward has been spelled Dorward, Dorward, Durwood, Dorwood, Dyrwood, Dyrward, Dirward and many more.

Early Notables of the Durward family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Durward Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Durward migration to the United States +

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Durwards to arrive on North American shores:

Durward Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Christina J. Durward, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1907
  • Elizabeth Durward, aged 40, who settled in America from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1907
  • Grace Durward, aged 33, who landed in America from Monifieth, Scotland, in 1907
  • James Durward, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1907
  • Jane Durward, aged 27, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Durward migration to Australia +

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

Durward Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Durward, Scottish convict who was convicted in Aberdeen, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Blundell" on 13th March 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Durward (post 1700) +

  • Bernard Isaac Durward, Scottish-born, American portrait painter who settled in what would become Durward's Glen, Wisconson, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • David Durward, Canadian Chief Commander of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons
  • Stuart G Durward SC, Australian jurist, Judge of the District Court of Queensland
  • Homer Durward Kirby (1911-2000), American television host and announcer, best remembered for his work on The Garry Moore Show in the 1950s, and Candid Camera
  • Major-General William Durward Connor (1874-1960), American Chairman of the Construction Advisory Committee, War Department (1941-1942) [4]
  • Sir Durward Randolph Knowles (1917-2018), Bahamian sailor, Olympic champion in 1964
  • Durward Howes, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1964 [5]
  • Durward Grinstead, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Dresden, 1926; Hamburg, 1929 [6]
  • Durward Lockhart, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Clay County Democratic Party, 1955 [7]
  • Durward Casteel, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1988 [8]

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from
  4. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 23) William Connor. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 11) . Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, July 22) . Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook