Gaward History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Gaward family
The surname Gaward was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Gaywood, held by Bishop William, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Early History of the Gaward family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaward research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1273, 1366, 1650 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Gaward History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaward 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 Gaywood, Gaywode, Gaiwood, Gawood, Kaywood, Caywood, Geywood and many more.
Early Notables of the Gaward family
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Gaywood (fl. 1650-1680), an English engraver noted for his etchings of birds and animals and his portraits. He "was...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaward Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gaward 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 Gaward or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)