An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Where did the English Woodward family come from? What is the English Woodward family crest and coat of arms? When did the Woodward family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Woodward family history?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.  Another source claims the name was from 'a woodward,' a forest officer who looked after wood and vert. 
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.
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. 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. 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodward research. Another 217 words (16 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.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodward Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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
Woodward Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Woodward Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Woodward Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Woodward Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Woodward Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
The Woodward Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woodward Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 17 September 2015 at 10:22.