Wards History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Wards reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Wards family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Wards is a name for a guard having derived from the Old English word ward, meaning guardian or watchman.  
Early Origins of the Wards family
The surname Wards was first found in Northampton, where they held a family seat from ancient times, and the first on record was Osbert de Varde of Givendale in the year 1130, who was a descendant of Fouques de Vardes of Normandy. His descendent Simon Ward was Governor of Pontefract Castle in 1324. 
John Warde is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1194, while in the Hundred Rolls for 1273 there is a William le Warde in Oxford, a Simon le Ward in Buckinghamshire, and two further le Wardes, one in Hampshire and one in Cambridgeshire. 
Some of the family were found at Barford in Warwickshire. "Barford was for three centuries the residence of the ancestors of Charles Thomas Warde, Esq., now of Clopton, in the county. Of this family was Rowley Warde, an eminent lawyer in the reigns of James and Charles I., commonly called Old Serjeant Warde, and in the parish register styled the Right Worshipful Rowley Warde; who died at the age of 96, about the year 1650. His son, Thomas Warde, barrister at law, served as an officer in the army of Charles at the battle of Edge Hill, and kept the royal flag flying on the top of the church tower here, facing his own house; which caused Cromwell's army after the battle, on its march to Kenilworth Castle, eight miles distant, to fire shots at the tower, the marks of which still remain. Among other relics [in the church of Barford] is a curious tablet of freestone, part of a monument, which the rector, the Rev. William Somerville, has had placed in the wall of the vestry, with this inscription: 'Here lyeth the body of Thomas Warde, Gentleman, parson of Barford, 2d son of Thomas and Martha Warde; he died in 1532.' " 
Later the name was found further north in Scotland, where "John de Warde was a tenant of the earl of Douglas in the barony of Kilbucho, 1376. Robert Waird was burgess of Stirling in 1601." 
Early History of the Wards family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wards research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1324, 1842, 1845, 1553, 1622, 1572, 1643, 1597, 1659, 1617, 1689, 1629, 1681, 1662, 1681, 1629, 1696, 1680, 1677, 1720, 1710, 1713, 1715, 1638, 1714 and are included under the topic Early Wards History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wards Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Ward, Warde, Varde and others.
Early Notables of the Wards family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Baron Simon Ward; John Ward (c.1553-1622), a notorious English pirate around the turn of the 17th century; Samuel Ward (1572-1643), an English academic and a master at the University of Cambridge; Andrew Warde (ca 1597-1659), a colonist, judge, farmer, and one of the founding fathers of the Connecticut towns of Weathersfield, Stamford, and Fairfield; Seth Ward (1617-1689), an English mathematician, astronomer, and bishop; John Ward (1629-1681), English vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon (1662...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wards Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wards family to Ireland
Some of the Wards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wards migration to the United States +
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wards or a variant listed above:
Wards Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Richard Wards, aged 13, who landed in Virginia in 1635 
- Tho Wards, who arrived in Virginia in 1649 
Wards migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Wards Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Christina Wards, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Charlotte Jane" 
Wards 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:
Wards Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Miss Janet Wards, (b. 1844), aged 26, Scottish housemaid, from Orkney travelling from London aboard the ship "Ramsey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th June 1870 
Related Stories +
The Wards Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Comme je fus
Motto Translation: As I was.
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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)
- ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHARLOTTE JANE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/charlottejane1852.shtml
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html