Origin of the Name Woodward
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Woodward is an occupational name from someone who was a forester employed to look after trees and game. Variants of the name include Woodword and Woodwards. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are an Alyward le Wodeward, County Essex, and an Adam le Wodeward, County Oxfordshire, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. A William le Wodeward, County Oxfordshire, was recorded in the ancient book 'Kirby's Quest', in the reign of Edward III.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The Woodward coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Woodward descendants.