An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The surname Gaywood 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.
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gaywood include Gaywood, Gaywode, Gaiwood, Gawood, Kaywood, Caywood, Geywood and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaywood research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1273, 1366, 1650 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Gaywood History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaywood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Gaywood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Gaywood Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gaywood Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 13 February 2015 at 04:45.