Portwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Portwood family

The surname Portwood was first found in Yorkshire in the West Riding. where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Headingly. 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, [1] 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 Headingly, which William de Poitevin acquired through marriage to the daughter of Ilbert de Lacy who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. They were originally from Poitou in Normandy.

Early History of the Portwood family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Portwood research. Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Portwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Portwood Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Poitevin, Paytfen, Peytwin, Peteyvin, Peytivin, Portwine, Portwin, Potwin, Potwyn, Potwyne, Portwyn, Pettevin, Petvin, Peytvin, Portway, Portwey, Potyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Portwood family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Portwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Portwood Ranking

In the United States, the name Portwood is the 12,156th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]


United States Portwood migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Portwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Portwood, who arrived in Maryland in 1679
  • John Portwood, who arrived in Maryland in 1679
Portwood Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Portwood, who settled in Virginia in 1739

Contemporary Notables of the name Portwood (post 1700) +

  • Mabel Portwood, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Mexico, 1944 [3]
  • Levi Portwood, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1956 [3]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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