Gayward History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gayward family

The surname Gayward 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, [1] 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 Gayward family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gayward research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1273, 1366, 1650 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Gayward History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gayward Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Gayward has been recorded under many different variations, including Gaywood, Gaywode, Gaiwood, Gawood, Kaywood, Caywood, Geywood and many more.

Early Notables of the Gayward family (pre 1700)

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 Gayward Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gayward family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Gaywards were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: 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..



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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