Woodyart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Woodyart family name to the British Isles. Woodyart 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 Woodyart family
The surname Woodyart 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. 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 Woodyart family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodyart 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 Woodyart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woodyart Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Woodward, Woodard, Woodwards, Woodyard, Wadard and many more.
Early Notables of the Woodyart family (pre 1700)
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodyart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woodyart family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Woodyart 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.
Related Stories +
The Woodyart 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.
- ^ 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)