Woodard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Woodard family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Woodard is 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. [1] Another source claims the name was from 'a woodward,' a forest officer who looked after wood and vert. [2]

Early Origins of the Woodard family

The surname Woodard was first found in Essex where Commander Wadard [3] 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. 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. [1] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Aylward le Wodeward in Oxfordshire; and Adam le Wodewarde in Somerset. [2]

Early History of the Woodard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodard research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1086, 1066, 1490, 1590, 1675, 1640, 1657, 1712, 1698 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Woodard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woodard Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Woodward, Woodard, Woodwards, Woodyard, Wadard and many more.

Early Notables of the Woodard family (pre 1700)

Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Woodard migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Woodard or a variant listed above:

Woodard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Woodard, who arrived in Maryland in 1666 [4]
  • Thomas Woodard, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [4]
  • Mary Woodard, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682 [4]
  • William Woodard, who landed in America in 1697 [4]
Woodard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Woodard, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]
Woodard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Luke Woodard, aged 64, who landed in America, in 1896
Woodard Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Graham Woodard, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Graham Woodard, aged 24, who immigrated to America, in 1903
  • James C. Woodard, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Esther Woodard, aged 52, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Charles A. Woodard, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Woodard 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:

Woodard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Woodard, (b. 1834), aged 24, English shoemaker from Edmonton, London travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Woodard, (b. 1838), aged 20, English settler from Edmonton, London travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Woodard (post 1700) +

  • Ray Woodard (1937-2009), American longtime soccer coach at Indian Springs School in Alabama, nicknamed the "father of soccer in Alabama"
  • Milton P. "Milt" Woodard (1911-1996), American sports writer and sport executive, President of the American Football League
  • Frederick Augustus Woodard (1854-1915), American politician, Democratic U.S. Congressman from North Carolina (1893-1897)
  • Alfre Ette Woodard (b. 1952), American actress who has been nominated for an Academy Award, won four Emmy Awards, three SAG Awards and one Golden Globe Award
  • Lynette Woodard (b. 1959), retired American basketball player who made history by becoming the first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters
  • Dempsey T. Woodard, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1918, 1922; Candidate for Illinois State Senate 48th District, 1940 [6]
  • Dean W. Woodard, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Texas State Board of Education 9th District, 2002 [6]
  • Daryl Woodard, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 2008 [6]
  • Charles F. Woodard (d. 1907), American politician, Justice of Maine State Supreme Court, 1906-07 [6]
  • Allen Woodard, American Democrat politician, Chair of Covington County Democratic Party, 2003 [6]
  • ... (Another 18 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Miss May Florrie Woodard (1897-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [7]
  • Mr. Walter A Woodard (1867-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [7]
  • Mrs. Eliza Woodard (1863-1914), née Butcher Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [7]


The Woodard 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: Virtus semper viret
Motto Translation: Virtue is always flourishing.


Suggested Readings for the name Woodard +

  • 676 Ancestors of Dr. Franklin Columbus Woodard and his Descendants, 1757-1982 by Jewell Daphne Gerron Woodard.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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