Show ContentsYard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Yard surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Devon. Their name, however, refers to the Old English word yarde, meaning an area of thirty acres, and indicates that the family once lived on such a piece of land. [1]

Early Origins of the Yard family

The surname Yard was first found in Devon where "amongst the ancient Devonshire gentle families that still linger in the county are those of Yarde. The Yards of Bradley in High Week were considered an ancient family 250 years ago. The Yardes of the Whiteway estate in Kingsteignton, and of Culver House, Chudleigh, belong to one of the most ancient of Devon families (Jones' "Chudleigh")." [2]

Early rolls included a wide variety of spellings that for the most part have fallen out of favor. The "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I." include a listing for John de la Yhurde, Southamptonshire, Henry III-Edward I. The Close Rolls listed William de la Yerd, 2 Edward I and William atte Yurd, 17 Edward III. [3]

In Somerset, Hugh atte Yeurd and Walter atte Yurd, were both listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edwrad III's reign.) [4]

Early History of the Yard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yard research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1638, 1669, 1685, 1695, 1698, 1702, 1703, 1735, 1740, 1749, 1767, 1773, 1799, 1800, 1833, 1858, 1871 and 1882 are included under the topic Early Yard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Yard Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Yard include Yard, Yarde, Yeard, Yeards and others.

Early Notables of the Yard family

Notables of the family at this time include

  • Edward Yarde (1669-1735), of Churston Court in the parish of Churston Ferrers in Devon. He was a Member of Parliament for Totnes in Devon 1695-1698 and the eldest son and heir of Edward Yarde (1638-17...
  • Edward's fifth son, Francis Yarde c. (1703-1749), married his cousin Elizabeth Northleigh, by whom he had a daughter and sole heiress Susanna Yarde (born 1740), who became (in her issue) the heiress o...

Yard Ranking

In the United States, the name Yard is the 13,128th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Yard migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Yard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Yard, aged 21, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Thomas & John" [6]
  • Susan Yard, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Henry Yard, who arrived in Virginia in 1695 [6]
Yard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Yard, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1767

Canada Yard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Yard Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
Yard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Samuel and Christopher Yard, who settled in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland, in 1793 [7]

Australia Yard migration to Australia +

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

Yard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Yard, (Franklin), (b. 1829), aged 14, English farm labourer who was convicted in Taunton, Somerset, England for 15 years for house breaking, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • James Yard, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"

Contemporary Notables of the name Yard (post 1700) +

  • Robert Sterling Yard (1861-1945), American writer, journalist, and wilderness activist
  • Molly Yard (1912-2005), American feminist
  • Douglas Dale Yard, Canadian jurist, appointed a judge of the Family Division of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba on October 7, 1998

The Yard 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: Facta non verba
Motto Translation: Deeds not words.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook