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Heawood Coat of Arms / Heawood Family Crest

Heawood Coat of Arms / Heawood Family Crest

The surname of HEAWOOD was a locational name 'of Heywood' a town in the old parish of Bury in South Lancashire. There are also places from where the original bearer of the name may have derived his name in Nottingham, Staffordshire and Lancashire. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'de', 'atte', 'by' or 'in'. The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. The name was derived from the Old English word HEGEGEHAEG and the name literally meant 'the dweller by the enclosed wood'. The estate of Heywood was granted by Sir Adam de Bury to Peter Heywood during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Early records of the name mention Anselem de Haiwod who was documented in the year 1199, and Adam de Heyuuode appears in Lancashire in 1246. Arnold de Hywoode of Warwickshire was mentioned in the year 1275. Ricardus de Heywode of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Dorothy Heywood of Heywood, Lancashire was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1607. The name was also occasionally used as 'the guardian of the fence or hedges'. It was an official name for one who was responsible for protecting land or an enclosed forest from damage by animals, poachers or vandals. It was common practice in the Middle Ages for areas of woodland to be fenced off as hunting grounds for the nobility. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.


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last updated on: July 15th, 2014

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