Heywoit History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Heywoit comes from when its first bearer worked as a person who was in charge of protecting an enclosed forest from damage by vandals, animals, and poachers. The name was originally derived from the Old English haye, which meant enclosure. [1] Another source notes the name as an occupational name as in " 'the hayward,' a keeper of cattle, literally 'hedge-watcher'". [2]

"The duties of the hayward were of a varied nature. His chief task seems to have been to guard the cattle at pasture; but he also protected the crops from thieves, trimmed the hedges, etc. In old poems he is generally represented as carrying a horn." [3]

And to underscore the Saxon heritage, one learned source bluntly says "there is nothing Norman in this name." [4]

Early Origins of the Heywoit family

The surname Heywoit was first found in Lancashire at Heywood, a town and chapelry, in the township of Heap, parish and union of Bury, hundred of Salford. "Heywood, in the Saxon, denotes the site of a wood in a field, or a wood surrounded by fields; a family of the same name resided here for many generations. " [5] Heywood Hall was long the residence of the ancestors of the baronet's family. [1]

One source notes "the son of John, the eldest son of William de Wiggenshall, who took the sir-name of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard; and was the first of this Family of that Sir-name, which, as I take it, he took from the office of Heyward there." [6]

The first record of the family was found in the Domesday Book of 1086 when Hauuart, an early spelling of the family name was listed in Yorkshire. [7]

Years later, Haward de Wihton was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1166 and later again, William, Stephen Haward was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cheshire in 1332. [7]

As an occupational name, early records were scattered as the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Adam le Hayward in Devon; Roger le Hayward in Buckinghamshire; and Alicia le Heyward in Huntingdonshire.

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Robertus Hayward and Magota Hayward. [2]

Early History of the Heywoit family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heywoit research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1497, 1580, 1570, 1641, 1497, 1580, 1570, 1641, 1630, 1702, 1693, 1756, 1746, 1809 and 1776 are included under the topic Early Heywoit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heywoit 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 Heywoit include Hayward, Heyward, Haward, Haywood, Heywood and others.

Early Notables of the Heywoit family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir John Hayward, a noted Elizabethan historian; John Heywood (1497?-1580), an English poet, friend of Sir Thomas More, and a court musician and entertainer for Henry VII, Edward VI, and Queen Mary; Thomas Heywood (c.1570-1641), an English dramatist best known for "A Woman Killed with Kindness" and others; Oliver...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heywoit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Heywoit 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 Heywoit or a variant listed above: Hugh Haward settled in Virginia in 1624 with his wife Susan; Thomas Hayward settled in New England in 1634 with his wife Susannah and five children; Samuel Hayward settled in New England in 1687.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  7. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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