Woderd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Woderd reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Woderd family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Woderd is a name for a forester. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old English words wode, meaning wood, and ward, meaning guardian or keeper. 
Another source claims the name was from 'a woodward,' a forest officer who looked after wood and vert. 
Early Origins of the Woderd family
The surname Woderd was first found in Essex where Commander Wadard  was granted lands by King William for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings. The first recorded scion of the family, (Falaise Roll,p 112,) Commander Wadard assembled King William's army at Saint Valery in Normandy for the invasion of England. It was he, Wadard, who advised King William of the Saxon King Harold's approach from the north at Hastings. He is depicted on the famous Bayeux Tapestry on a foraging expedition. His portrait suggests that he held a senior rank. His descendents, Henry and Simon Wadard, were still Lords of their respective Manors in Essex in 1278.
Other early listings of the name include: Sewhal le wuderward who was in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1208; Ralph de (sic) Wodeward who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire in 1230; and Robert Wodeward who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Aylward le Wodeward in Oxfordshire; and Adam le Wodewarde in Somerset. 
Early History of the Woderd family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woderd research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1086, 1290, 1490, 1590, 1640, 1657, 1675, 1698, 1712 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Woderd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woderd 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 Woodward, Woodard, Woodwards, Woodyard, Wadard and many more.
Early Notables of the Woderd family
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woderd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woderd family
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 Woderd or a variant listed above: Christopher Woodward settled in Virginia in 1620; Henry and Mary Woodward settled in Virginia in 1623; along with Richard; John Woodward settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1634.
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: Virtus semper viret
Motto Translation: Virtue is always flourishing.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)