Woodyeard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Woodyeard was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the island in 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. 
Early Origins of the Woodyeard family
The surname Woodyeard 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 Woodyeard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodyeard 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 Woodyeard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woodyeard Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Woodward, Woodard, Woodwards, Woodyard, Wadard and many more.
Early Notables of the Woodyeard family (pre 1700)
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodyeard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woodyeard family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Woodyeard name or one of its variants: 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 Woodyeard 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)