Heywoods History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Heywoods comes from one of the family having 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.  Another source notes the name as an occupational name as in " 'the hayward,' a keeper of cattle, literally 'hedge-watcher'". 
"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." 
And to underscore the Saxon heritage, one learned source bluntly says "there is nothing Norman in this name." 
Early Origins of the Heywoods family
The surname Heywoods 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. "  Heywood Hall was long the residence of the ancestors of the baronet's family. 
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." 
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. 
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. 
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. 
Early History of the Heywoods family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heywoods research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1497, 1580, 1570, 1641, 1564, 1627, 1497, 1580, 1570, 1641, 1630, 1702, 1693, 1756, 1746, 1809 and 1776 are included under the topic Early Heywoods History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heywoods Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Heywoods have been found, including: Hayward, Heyward, Haward, Haywood, Heywood and others.
Early Notables of the Heywoods family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir John Hayward (c. 1564-1627), a noted Elizabethan historian, lawyer and politician, born near Felixstowe, Suffolk; 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...
Migration of the Heywoods family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Heywoods, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : 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.