Harwold History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Harwold family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in Lincolnshire. The name is derived from the Old English word har which means "grey" and the word wudu which means "wood." [1]

"Prior to the latter half of the XIV. cent. the name was written Harward and Hereward, and tradition derives the family from the celebrated Hereward, the patriot Saxon, who a few years after the Conquest headed his oppressed countrymen against the forces of William. He was the younger son of Leofric, earl of Mercia." [2]

Another source provides more about Hereward. His history "fills a larger place in legend than in authentic history. A few references to him in the chronicles and an account of his possessions in Domesday are all that we really know of him. But his exploits in defending Ely from the Normans caused the generation succeeding his own to regard him as the popular hero of the English resistance to their French conquerors. Popular songs commemorated his wonderful deeds, and were the sources of many mythical histories which disagree with each other, and with known history. They are written with obvious exaggeration, though some of them are not sixty years subsequent in date to the time when Hereward in all probability was still alive." [3]

Early Origins of the Harwold family

The surname Harwold was first found in Lancashire at either Great Harwood or Little Harwood; and or in West Yorkshire at Harewood, all villages. [4]

An early record of the family was found in Cheshire in the twelfth century: Hubert de Harewda was listed there in 1176. Bernard de Harewode was listed in 1242 Fees and Alice Harewode was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327. [5]

Up in Scotland, the name was likely from a local origin, "probably from Harwood near West Calder, Midlothian. Roger de Hauewod held land of Gouyrton near Edinburgh, 1317, and Ada, daughter of Roger de Harewood or Hauwod, is mentioned in Aberdeen in same year. The lands of Trowere in the earldom of Carrick were resigned by Janet de Hawod, 1430." [6]

Early History of the Harwold family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harwold research. Another 256 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1071, 1600, 1464, 1565, 1563, 1568, 1618, 1674, 1564, 1648, 1634, 1647, 1648, 1647, 1648, 1572, 1614, 1572, 1574, 1575, 1577, 1578, 1632 and 1586 are included under the topic Early Harwold History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harwold Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Harwold include Harwood, Harewood, Horwood, Whorwood, Herwood, Hereward, Harward and many more.

Early Notables of the Harwold family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Jane Whorwood ( fl. 1648), English Royalist, daughter of one Ryder or Ryther of Kingston, Surrey, sometime surveyor of the stables to James I. "In September 1634, at the age of nineteen, she married Brome Whorwood, eldest son of Sir Thomas Whorwood of Holton, Oxfordshire. In 1647 and 1648, when the king was in captivity, Mrs. Whorwood signalised herself by her efforts to communicate with him and to arrange his escape. She conveyed money to him from loyalists in London when he was at Hampton Court in the autumn of 1647, and consulted William...
Another 158 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harwold Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harwold family to Ireland

Some of the Harwold family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harwold family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Harwold or a variant listed above: Robert and Thomas Harwood who settled in Virginia in 1635; followed later by George Harwood in 1643.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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