Woodward History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Woodward is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It 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. [1] Another source claims the name was from 'a woodward,' a forest officer who looked after wood and vert. [2]

Early Origins of the Woodward family

The surname Woodward 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 Woodward family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodward 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 Woodward History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woodward Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Woodward has been recorded under many different variations, including Woodward, Woodard, Woodwards, Woodyard, Wadard and many more.

Early Notables of the Woodward family (pre 1700)

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


United States Woodward migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Woodwards were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Woodward Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Woodward, who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Christopher Woodward, who arrived in Virginia in 1620 [4]
  • Henry and Mary Woodward, who settled in Virginia in 1623 along with Richard
  • Henery Woodward, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625 [4]
  • Mary Woodward, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Woodward Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Woodward, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712 [4]
  • Joseph Woodward, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • Samuel Woodward, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [4]
Woodward Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Woodward, who landed in New York in 1822 [4]
  • George Woodward, who arrived in New York in 1835 [4]
  • Thomas Woodward, who arrived in Mississippi in 1848 [4]
  • Jonah Woodward, who landed in Nebraska in 1870 [4]

Canada Woodward migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Woodward Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Abraham Woodward U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Agreement [5]
  • Mr. Anthony Woodward U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Agreement [5]
  • Mr. Anthony Woodward Jr., U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Agreement [5]
  • Ms. Constant Woodward U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]
  • Ms. Deborah Woodward U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Woodward Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Woodward, aged 35, a merchant, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the barque "Frederick" from Liverpool, England
  • Dewitt Clinton Woodward, who landed in Canada in 1840
  • Jessee Smith Woodward, who arrived in Canada in 1840
  • Joseph Woodward, an English youngster, first settler at Boat Harbour, Newfoundland in 1860 [6]

Australia Woodward migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Woodward Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Woodward Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Woodward, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. William Woodward, British Convict who was convicted in Salford, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • John Woodward, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Branken Moor" in 1849 [10]
  • C. Woodward, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849 [11]
  • Ann Woodward, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Brankenmoor" [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Woodward 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:

Woodward Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Woodward, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bolton
  • Mr Woodward, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Duke of Roxburgh
  • Samuel Woodward, aged 27, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Rose Woodward, aged 17, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Margaret Woodward, aged 27, a dressmaker, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Woodward (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Morgan Woodward (1925-2019), American actor, best known for his recurring role on the soap opera Dallas as Marvin "Punk" Anderson
  • Commander (USN) Neil W. Woodward III (b. 1962), American former NASA astronaut [12]
  • Robert Burns Woodward (1917-1979), American Nobel Prize-winning organic chemist
  • Comer Vann Woodward (1908-1999), American historian
  • Bob Woodward (b. 1943), American journalist and author, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post
  • Sir Arthur Smith Woodward (1864-1944), English palaeontologist
  • Edward Albert Arthur Woodward (1930-2009), English stage, film and television actor and singer
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Eric Winslow Woodward (1899-1967), Australian Commander in Chief, Eastern Command from 1953 to 1957 [13]
  • Admiral Sir John Forster Woodward GBE, KCB (b. 1932), English Navy officer and former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff
  • Sir Thomas Jones Woodward OBE (b. 1940), known by his stage name Tom Jones, the famous Welsh singer who has sold over 100 million records
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Dorsetshire
  • John Woodward (d. 1945), British Steward aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Frederick J Woodward (b. 1896), English Warrant Electrician serving for the Royal Navy from Sutton, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. K A Woodward, British Petty Officer Airman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [16]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Wesley Woodward (d. 1912), aged 32, English Second Class passenger from Oxford, Oxfordshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [17]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Ardenne Allen Woodward, American Machinist's Mate Second Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [18]


The Woodward 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.


  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asiatic
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The BRANKEN MOOR 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849BrankenMoor.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CALPHURNIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Calpurnia.htm
  12. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Neil Woodward. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/woodward.html
  13. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 8) Eric Woodward. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Woodward/Sir_Eric_Winslow/Australia.html
  14. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  15. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  16. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  17. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  18. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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