Harwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harwood is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived 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 Harwood family

The surname Harwood 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 Harwood family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harwood 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 Harwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harwood Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Harwood has been spelled many different ways, including Harwood, Harewood, Horwood, Whorwood, Herwood, Hereward, Harward and many more.

Early Notables of the Harwood 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 Harwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harwood World Ranking

In the United States, the name Harwood is the 3,861st most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [7] However, in Australia, the name Harwood is ranked the 984th most popular surname with an estimated 4,032 people with that name. [8] And in New Zealand, the name Harwood is the 713rd popular surname with an estimated 1,003 people with that name. [9] The United Kingdom ranks Harwood as 697th with 9,585 people. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Harwood family to Ireland

Some of the Harwood 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.


United States Harwood migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Harwoods to arrive in North America:

Harwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Paule Harwood, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [11]
  • Grace Harwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625 [11]
  • Henry Harwood, who landed in Roston, Massachusetts in 1630 [11]
  • Robert and Thomas Harwood who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Augustin Harwood, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harwood Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hannah Harwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [11]
  • Anne Harwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [11]
  • Phillis Harwood, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [11]
Harwood Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Harwood, aged 25, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [11]
  • William Harwood, who arrived in New York, NY in 1833 [11]
Harwood Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John J Harwood, who arrived in Mississippi in 1901 [11]

Canada Harwood migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harwood Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Harwood, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Thomas Harwood, aged 34, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Ms. Mary Harwood U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 492 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York [12]

Australia Harwood migration to Australia +

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

Harwood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Arthur Harwood, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • Mr. William Harwood, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 8th April 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • John Harwood, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. James Harwood, (b. 1808), aged 22, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [16]
  • Mr. George Harwood, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1880 [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Harwood migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Harwood Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Harwood, aged 23, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Harwood, aged 27, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • James Harwood, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Mrs. Harwood, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "St. Michael" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th January 1850 [18]
  • David Harwood, aged 49, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Harwood migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [19]
Harwood Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Margarett Harwood, aged 22, who landed in St Christopher in 1634 [11]
  • Mr. Ralph Harwood, (b. 1611), aged 23, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Hopewell" arriving in Barbados on 17th February 1634 [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Harwood (post 1700) +

  • Commander Bruce L. Harwood USN (1910-1944), American naval officer, twice awarded the Navy Cross, and killed in action during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, eponym of the USS Harwood (DD/DDE-861), a Gearing-class destroyer
  • Elvis Harwood, American politician, Mayor of Joliet, Illinois, 1867-69 [20]
  • E. Harwood, American politician, Mayor of Zion, Illinois, 1925 [20]
  • Clifford B. Harwood, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Vermont, 1972 [20]
  • Charles E. Harwood (1851-1924), American Republican politician, Mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts, 1894-95 [20]
  • Charles A. Harwood (1880-1950), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 10th District, 1910; U.S. District Judge for Canal Zone, 1937-38; Governor of U.S. Virgin Islands, 1941-46 [20]
  • Calvin L. Harwood, American politician, Mayor of Norwich, Connecticut, 1893-96 [20]
  • Benjamin E. Harwood, American Republican politician, Connecticut Republican State Chair, 1940; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Connecticut, 1940 [20]
  • Aubrey H. Harwood Jr., American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Port-au-Prince, 1945 [20]
  • Allen P. Harwood, American politician, Presidential Elector for Wisconsin, 1888 [20]
  • ... (Another 39 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Phillip Harwood (d. 1945), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [21]


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lower, 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)
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  10. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  11. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  12. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  15. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  21. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook