Discussion:
Howard~Origin of the name
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r***@gmail.com
2018-05-13 16:08:57 UTC
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Hello group,
Can anyone tell me with any authority, what the origin of the
surname Howard is.
The big question here is, could the Howard name be derived from the
name Hereward, and does this mean that the names origins are german
(saxon).
I have read the archives, but no authoritive mention is made as to
the actual origin of the Howard name. Does anyone have access to
onomastic and etymology evidence for the Howard name, if so, could you
please help me to understand where this surname came from.
Cheers,
Karen
Name is pronounced HOW-erd. It is of Scandinavian origin, and the meaning of Howard is "high guardian". From hâ ward, with one of the early forms being Haward. Occupational name and aristocratic surname of one of the great houses of English nobility, including the dukes of Norfolk and Queen Catherine HOWARD King Henry VIII Tudor 5th wife.
Andrew Lancaster
2018-05-13 20:00:32 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
Hello group,
Can anyone tell me with any authority, what the origin of the
surname Howard is.
The big question here is, could the Howard name be derived from the
name Hereward, and does this mean that the names origins are german
(saxon).
I have read the archives, but no authoritive mention is made as to
the actual origin of the Howard name. Does anyone have access to
onomastic and etymology evidence for the Howard name, if so, could you
please help me to understand where this surname came from.
Cheers,
Karen
Name is pronounced HOW-erd. It is of Scandinavian origin, and the meaning of Howard is "high guardian". From hâ ward, with one of the early forms being Haward. Occupational name and aristocratic surname of one of the great houses of English nobility, including the dukes of Norfolk and Queen Catherine HOWARD King Henry VIII Tudor 5th wife.
There is more than one origin.
Ian Goddard
2018-05-14 10:07:45 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
Hello group,
Can anyone tell me with any authority, what the origin of the
surname Howard is.
%><
Post by Andrew Lancaster
Post by r***@gmail.com
Name is pronounced HOW-erd. It is of Scandinavian origin, and the meaning of Howard is "high guardian". From hâ ward, with one of the early forms being Haward. Occupational name and aristocratic surname of one of the great houses of English nobility, including the dukes of Norfolk and Queen Catherine HOWARD King Henry VIII Tudor 5th wife.
There is more than one origin.
There certainly is. In my area (Holmfirth WRY) it's possible to see it
replacing the earlier spelling of Heward in the C18 & C19. The presence
of the Howard family as owners of the manor of Glossop a few miles away
might have been an influence there.

Heywood is also a surname and should be distinct as there's the
possibility of deriving it from the place of that name in Lancashire.
There's also the more prosaic occupational name of Hayward as a source.

Ian
e***@singouteileen.com
2018-06-22 16:29:45 UTC
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Hello group,
Can anyone tell me with any authority, what the origin of the
surname Howard is.
The big question here is, could the Howard name be derived from the
name Hereward, and does this mean that the names origins are german
(saxon).
I have read the archives, but no authoritive mention is made as to
the actual origin of the Howard name. Does anyone have access to
onomastic and etymology evidence for the Howard name, if so, could you
please help me to understand where this surname came from.
Cheers,
Karen
This book about Hereward and his descendants says that Howard is not derived from Hereward but from Howardus, mentioned in the Domesday Book. I have no idea if he is right but it seems well researched (published 1891): https://archive.org/stream/cu31924027954266#page/n11/mode/2up says that
Hovite
2018-06-22 23:00:33 UTC
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This book about Hereward and his descendants says that Howard is not derived from Hereward but from Howardus, mentioned in the Domesday Book. I have no idea if he is right but it seems well researched (published 1891): https://archive.org/stream/cu31924027954266#page/n11/mode/2up says that
On page 88 the author says

“Five of the six first Earls of this line have name with a distinct Danish termination, ric or gar” but –ric and –gar are very common Anglo-Saxon name elements (although cognates do occur in Norse, namely –ríkr and –geirr).

To call Leofwine “Earl of Leicester” is an error: he was Ealdorman of Hwicce.

The four previous earls are imaginary.

The Lucia floating around on the same table is another fictional person. Obviously her name is in the wrong form for an Anglo-Saxon.

Howard could be from Norse Hávarðr, but equally it could be from the Anglo-Saxon cognate Heahweard.
Andrew Lancaster
2018-06-23 09:37:40 UTC
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This book about Hereward and his descendants says that Howard is not derived from Hereward but from Howardus, mentioned in the Domesday Book. I have no idea if he is right but it seems well researched (published 1891): https://archive.org/stream/cu31924027954266#page/n11/mode/2up says that
On page 88 the author says
“Five of the six first Earls of this line have name with a distinct Danish termination, ric or gar” but –ric and –gar are very common Anglo-Saxon name elements (although cognates do occur in Norse, namely –ríkr and –geirr).
To call Leofwine “Earl of Leicester” is an error: he was Ealdorman of Hwicce.
The four previous earls are imaginary.
The Lucia floating around on the same table is another fictional person. Obviously her name is in the wrong form for an Anglo-Saxon.
Howard could be from Norse Hávarðr, but equally it could be from the Anglo-Saxon cognate Heahweard.
I think most often it is from placenames and from the old job title of Hay Ward. The latter seems to be the origin of the surname of the famous Dukes from East Anglia.
Peter Howarth
2018-06-23 11:53:56 UTC
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I think most often it is from placenames and from the old job title of Hay Ward. The latter seems to be the origin of the surname of the famous Dukes from East Anglia.
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I obviously have an interest. Is there actual evidence for the derivation of this specific family, or is it simply based on etymology, folk or otherwise?

Peter Howarth
Andrew Lancaster
2018-06-23 21:30:11 UTC
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Post by Andrew Lancaster
I think most often it is from placenames and from the old job title of Hay Ward. The latter seems to be the origin of the surname of the famous Dukes from East Anglia.
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I obviously have an interest. Is there actual evidence for the derivation of this specific family, or is it simply based on etymology, folk or otherwise?
Peter Howarth
Hi Peter, your question is welcome but I am not at a good moment for answering in a very complete way. It is a family I've never focused on, but a region where I have read many sources looking at other families. I believe they were from around the Norfolk Cambridge border, and that early spellings are in the direction of the job name. I think this appears already in older sources like Blomefield and much later Rye, and I am at least not aware of it being disputed. I would be interested to learn more myself.
Peter Howarth
2018-06-25 04:18:10 UTC
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Post by Andrew Lancaster
I think most often it is from placenames and from the old job title of Hay Ward. The latter seems to be the origin of the surname of the famous Dukes from East Anglia.
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I obviously have an interest. Is there actual evidence for the derivation of this specific family, or is it simply based on etymology, folk or otherwise?
Peter Howarth
Hi Peter, your question is welcome but I am not at a good moment for answering in a very complete way. It is a family I've never focused on, but a region where I have read many sources looking at other families. I believe they were from around the Norfolk Cambridge border, and that early spellings are in the direction of the job name. I think this appears already in older sources like Blomefield and much later Rye, and I am at least not aware of it being disputed. I would be interested to learn more myself.
I have looked up those sources. There is no evidence for Hayward becoming Howard. This is folk etymology, i.e. a load of cobblers. Two words sound similar so they must be connected. It is of the same standard as the idea that, when Edmund of Lancaster was called Crouchback, it really meant Crossed-back.

There is no evidence that the family ever used the surname Hayward.
There is no explanation, along the lines of the Great Vowel Shift for example, to show why 'hay' changed to 'how'.

There is a little bit of evidence from East Anglia in Reaney and Wilson:
Houardus 1066 Essex
Howard 1101-7 Norfolk
Willelmus filius Howard 1188 Suffolk
Owardus, Houwardus, Howardus 1221-2 Suffolk

In the OED, the earliest written use of hayward/heiward is in c.1223.

Peter Howarth
Matthew Tompkins
2018-06-25 09:02:11 UTC
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I think most often it is from placenames and from the old job title of Hay Ward. The latter seems to be the origin of the surname of the famous Dukes from East Anglia.
++++
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I obviously have an interest. Is there actual evidence for the derivation of this specific family, or is it simply based on etymology, folk or otherwise?
Post by Peter Howarth
Post by Peter Howarth
Peter Howarth
++++
Hi Peter, your question is welcome but I am not at a good moment for answering in a very complete way. It is a family I've never focused on, but a region where I have read many sources looking at other families. I believe they were from around the Norfolk Cambridge border, and that early spellings are in the direction of the job name. I think this appears already in older sources like Blomefield and much later Rye, and I am at least not aware of it being disputed. I would be interested to learn more myself.
+++ +
Post by Peter Howarth
I have looked up those sources. There is no evidence for Hayward becoming Howard. This is folk etymology, i.e. a load of cobblers. Two words sound similar so they must be connected. It is of the same standard as the idea that, when Edmund of Lancaster was called Crouchback, it really meant Crossed-back.
There is no evidence that the family ever used the surname Hayward.
There is no explanation, along the lines of the Great Vowel Shift for example, to show why 'hay' changed to 'how'.
Houardus 1066 Essex
Howard 1101-7 Norfolk
Willelmus filius Howard 1188 Suffolk
Owardus, Houwardus, Howardus 1221-2 Suffolk
In the OED, the earliest written use of hayward/heiward is in c.1223.
Peter Howarth
+++++
Blomefield’s Norfolk, vol. 5, p. 235 et seq., sets out a fairly detailed descent of the Howards back to Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, just south of King’s Lynn, appointed JCP in 1297, apparently following Dugdale and a pedigree in Caius College, Cambridge. The History of Parliament 1386-1421 accepts this descent (see Sir John Howard c.1366-1437), adding that the judge ‘possibly came of burgess stock from Bishop’s Lynn’ (ie King’s Lynn).

Blomefield says the judge was the son of a John who ‘took the sirname of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard and was the first of this family, of that sirname; which as I take it, he took from the office of heyward there.’ [fn 7?]

Blomefield doesn’t cite any early records of the surname to support this derivation. A number of late 13C deeds recording dealings of the Wiggenhall/Kings Lynn Howards, all in the form ‘Howard’ can be seen here:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qAc1AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=howard+OR+hayward+%22lenn+episcopi%22&source=bl&ots=9yR3hUPdKE&sig=NgRvyhq7y6ch6PB02Bk-X7oj1lM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwid-oLL7ezbAhWJKFAKHULmCwMQ6AEIKTAA#v=snippet&q=hayward&f=false

After a (very) brief google I can’t find any early records of the Wiggenhall/King’s Lynn family spellt Hayward or Heyward.

However, the earliest references to the judge in the Calendars of Close Rolls, Fine Rolls and Patent Rolls (CCR Edw I vol. 3, 1288-96; CFR Edw I vol. 1, 1272-1307; and CPR Edw I vol. 3, 1292-1301), all spell his name as Haward (Blomefield’s Hauuard), though the form Howard begins to creep in from about 1300 onwards, so I think Haward may be the original form of the family’s surname. It’s not exactly Hayward, but it is closer to it than Howard.

Research in early charters or manorial records from Wiggenhall and King's Lynn might produce earlier transitional forms between Hayward and Haward.

Matt Tompkins
Matthew Tompkins
2018-06-25 09:21:37 UTC
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Blomefield’s Norfolk, vol. 5, p. 235 et seq., sets out a fairly detailed descent of the Howards back to Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, just south of King’s Lynn, appointed JCP in 1297, apparently following Dugdale and a pedigree in Caius College, Cambridge. The History of Parliament 1386-1421 accepts this descent (see Sir John Howard c.1366-1437), adding that the judge ‘possibly came of burgess stock from Bishop’s Lynn’ (ie King’s Lynn).
Blomefield says the judge was the son of a John who ‘took the sirname of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard and was the first of this family, of that sirname; which as I take it, he took from the office of heyward there.’ [fn 7?]
I meant to add a bit more there about the contents of Blomefield's footnotes 7 et seq., but forgot. After a brief discussion of the etymological origins of the surname Howard, in which he rejects hall-ward' and 'hold ward' in favour of 'high or chief-ward', he lists a number of early deeds from Wiggenhall and its district in which the name appears as Howard - some of them probably the same as those in the Camden Soc publication linked to above. None of them is Haward, however, which perhaps points away from Haward being the original form.
Peter Howarth
2018-06-25 10:27:02 UTC
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Blomefield’s Norfolk, vol. 5, p. 235 et seq., sets out a fairly detailed descent of the Howards back to Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, just south of King’s Lynn, appointed JCP in 1297, apparently following Dugdale and a pedigree in Caius College, Cambridge. The History of Parliament 1386-1421 accepts this descent (see Sir John Howard c.1366-1437), adding that the judge ‘possibly came of burgess stock from Bishop’s Lynn’ (ie King’s Lynn).
Blomefield says the judge was the son of a John who ‘took the sirname of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard and was the first of this family, of that sirname; which as I take it, he took from the office of heyward there.’ [fn 7?]
I meant to add a bit more there about the contents of Blomefield's footnotes 7 et seq., but forgot. After a brief discussion of the etymological origins of the surname Howard, in which he rejects hall-ward' and 'hold ward' in favour of 'high or chief-ward', he lists a number of early deeds from Wiggenhall and its district in which the name appears as Howard - some of them probably the same as those in the Camden Soc publication linked to above. None of them is Haward, however, which perhaps points away from Haward being the original form.
Very many thanks, Matt, for the actual evidence. That was what I was hoping for and failed to find.

I was taught more than sixty years ago to pronounce Chaucerian English the way the English master had been taught at university at least forty years before that. But I would suggest that, even if we accept the spelling Haward, which resurfaces once or twice a couple of centuries later, the first syllable is more likely to have been pronounced 'hah' rather than 'hay' or 'haw'. And 'hah' is the first part of the diphthong 'how' (with the second part 'oo' represented by the 'w'?). So I'm not sure that Haward is much closer to Hayward than Howard is.

Peter Howarth
Matthew Tompkins
2018-06-25 11:00:13 UTC
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Blomefield’s Norfolk, vol. 5, p. 235 et seq., sets out a fairly detailed descent of the Howards back to Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, just south of King’s Lynn, appointed JCP in 1297, apparently following Dugdale and a pedigree in Caius College, Cambridge. The History of Parliament 1386-1421 accepts this descent (see Sir John Howard c.1366-1437), adding that the judge ‘possibly came of burgess stock from Bishop’s Lynn’ (ie King’s Lynn).
Blomefield says the judge was the son of a John who ‘took the sirname of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard and was the first of this family, of that sirname; which as I take it, he took from the office of heyward there.’ [fn 7?]
I meant to add a bit more there about the contents of Blomefield's footnotes 7 et seq., but forgot. After a brief discussion of the etymological origins of the surname Howard, in which he rejects hall-ward' and 'hold ward' in favour of 'high or chief-ward', he lists a number of early deeds from Wiggenhall and its district in which the name appears as Howard - some of them probably the same as those in the Camden Soc publication linked to above. None of them is Haward, however, which perhaps points away from Haward being the original form.
Very many thanks, Matt, for the actual evidence. That was what I was hoping for and failed to find.
I was taught more than sixty years ago to pronounce Chaucerian English the way the English master had been taught at university at least forty years before that. But I would suggest that, even if we accept the spelling Haward, which resurfaces once or twice a couple of centuries later, the first syllable is more likely to have been pronounced 'hah' rather than 'hay' or 'haw'. And 'hah' is the first part of the diphthong 'how' (with the second part 'oo' represented by the 'w'?). So I'm not sure that Haward is much closer to Hayward than Howard is.
Peter Howarth
Yes, I'm not convinced Haward is anything other than a slightly variant form of Howard.

I have finally bestirred myself to have a look in Hanks' Coates' and McClure's Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland (accessible on-line if you can sign in via Athens), which has a good discussion of the name (and also Howarth). Briefly they say it is a patronym from the Middle English personal names Huward (a diminutive of Hugh), also spelled Howard and another personal name Howard (from the Old Danish personal name Hwarth).

But then they hedge their bets with a suggestion that Howard may sometimes have been confused with Hayward, saying:

"Reaney points out that in the Parish Register of Horringer (Suffolk), about 1670–80, Hayward is regularly written Howard, and in the Walthamstow Toni court rolls from 1678 to 1882 the ‘marshbaley’ is often called the hayward or howard , so that some Howards may have been Haywards and vice versa."
Matthew Tompkins
2018-06-25 11:06:54 UTC
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Blomefield’s Norfolk, vol. 5, p. 235 et seq., sets out a fairly detailed descent of the Howards back to Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, just south of King’s Lynn, appointed JCP in 1297, apparently following Dugdale and a pedigree in Caius College, Cambridge. The History of Parliament 1386-1421 accepts this descent (see Sir John Howard c.1366-1437), adding that the judge ‘possibly came of burgess stock from Bishop’s Lynn’ (ie King’s Lynn).
Blomefield says the judge was the son of a John who ‘took the sirname of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard and was the first of this family, of that sirname; which as I take it, he took from the office of heyward there.’ [fn 7?]
I meant to add a bit more there about the contents of Blomefield's footnotes 7 et seq., but forgot. After a brief discussion of the etymological origins of the surname Howard, in which he rejects hall-ward' and 'hold ward' in favour of 'high or chief-ward', he lists a number of early deeds from Wiggenhall and its district in which the name appears as Howard - some of them probably the same as those in the Camden Soc publication linked to above. None of them is Haward, however, which perhaps points away from Haward being the original form.
Very many thanks, Matt, for the actual evidence. That was what I was hoping for and failed to find.
I was taught more than sixty years ago to pronounce Chaucerian English the way the English master had been taught at university at least forty years before that. But I would suggest that, even if we accept the spelling Haward, which resurfaces once or twice a couple of centuries later, the first syllable is more likely to have been pronounced 'hah' rather than 'hay' or 'haw'. And 'hah' is the first part of the diphthong 'how' (with the second part 'oo' represented by the 'w'?). So I'm not sure that Haward is much closer to Hayward than Howard is.
Peter Howarth
Yes, I'm not convinced Haward is anything other than a slightly variant form of Howard.
I have finally bestirred myself to have a look in Hanks', Coates' and McClure's Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland (accessible on-line if you can sign in via Athens), which has a good discussion of the name (and also Howarth). Briefly they say it is a patronym from the Middle English personal names Huward (a diminutive of Hugh), also spelled Howard, and another personal name Howard (from the Old Danish personal name Hwarth).
Tsk, clumsy spelling - the Old Danish name is 'Hawarth', not Hwarth.

Matt
Peter Howarth
2018-06-25 13:20:12 UTC
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Blomefield’s Norfolk, vol. 5, p. 235 et seq., sets out a fairly detailed descent of the Howards back to Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, just south of King’s Lynn, appointed JCP in 1297, apparently following Dugdale and a pedigree in Caius College, Cambridge. The History of Parliament 1386-1421 accepts this descent (see Sir John Howard c.1366-1437), adding that the judge ‘possibly came of burgess stock from Bishop’s Lynn’ (ie King’s Lynn).
Blomefield says the judge was the son of a John who ‘took the sirname of Heyward, Hauuard, or Howard and was the first of this family, of that sirname; which as I take it, he took from the office of heyward there.’ [fn 7?]
I meant to add a bit more there about the contents of Blomefield's footnotes 7 et seq., but forgot. After a brief discussion of the etymological origins of the surname Howard, in which he rejects hall-ward' and 'hold ward' in favour of 'high or chief-ward', he lists a number of early deeds from Wiggenhall and its district in which the name appears as Howard - some of them probably the same as those in the Camden Soc publication linked to above. None of them is Haward, however, which perhaps points away from Haward being the original form.
Very many thanks, Matt, for the actual evidence. That was what I was hoping for and failed to find.
I was taught more than sixty years ago to pronounce Chaucerian English the way the English master had been taught at university at least forty years before that. But I would suggest that, even if we accept the spelling Haward, which resurfaces once or twice a couple of centuries later, the first syllable is more likely to have been pronounced 'hah' rather than 'hay' or 'haw'. And 'hah' is the first part of the diphthong 'how' (with the second part 'oo' represented by the 'w'?). So I'm not sure that Haward is much closer to Hayward than Howard is.
Peter Howarth
Yes, I'm not convinced Haward is anything other than a slightly variant form of Howard.
I have finally bestirred myself to have a look in Hanks', Coates' and McClure's Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland (accessible on-line if you can sign in via Athens), which has a good discussion of the name (and also Howarth). Briefly they say it is a patronym from the Middle English personal names Huward (a diminutive of Hugh), also spelled Howard, and another personal name Howard (from the Old Danish personal name Hwarth).
Tsk, clumsy spelling - the Old Danish name is 'Hawarth', not Hwarth.
Matt
That is again most helpful. So combining the information in Hanks, Coates and McClure with the East Anglian data in Reaney and Wilson, it would seem that the Duke of Norfolk's family derived their surname in the thirteenth century or earlier from a patronym, Howard, derived from the diminutive 'Hugh-ward' or the Old Danish Hawarth.

Later, in the seventeenth century and onwards, Howard and Hayward became confused, and it was this that misled Blomefield and Rye into applying that derivation to the older Norfolk family. The confusion was not limited to East Anglia, as in the examples in Reaney, but was also found in the West Riding. George Redmond, 'Surnames and Genealogy' p 211, mentions
1603 William Haworthe alias Hayward, Saddleworth
1670 Robert Howard alias Heywood, Wawne
However, both areas were under the influence of branches of the ducal family. It would be interesting to know whether the same confusion existed elsewhere in the country.

Peter Howarth
Ian Goddard
2018-06-25 19:08:16 UTC
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There is no evidence for Hayward becoming Howard. This is folk etymology
In the village of Holme (Almondbury parish) in the between 1704 and 1718
the spellings Hayward, Heywardand Heward was used in the baptisms of the
children of a James H, Haeward (let's cover either preference!) for the
daughter of a George and Heyward again for the daughter of a John.
Heward was also used for the daughter of an Ellen.

In the next generation John, who I take to have been the son of James,
has children baptised as Hayward (twice) Heyward and Howard. A
contemporary, James has 3 children baptised under the name of Heyward
and a George has a child under the name of Hayward.

Two of the sons of John in that 2nd generation were both given the
spelling of Heward in the marriage register although these marriages
were in the neighbouring parish of Kirkburton. Their first children,
baptised in the 1780s & 90s were recorded as Howard with Hayward and
particularly Heward reappearing in the later '901 and 1800s. Eventually
the spelling settled down as Howard.

Earlier, but just across the Penines in Glossop, Derbys, there was a
Goddard family of whom a son Edward became vicar of Amrath in
Pembrokeshire & provided a pedigree (apparently in 1591) which appears
in "Heraldic Visitations of Wales and part of the Marches between the
years 1586 and 1613 by Lewys Dwnn, Vol 1" p198. It shows Edward's
sister Als (sic) marrying William Havard (sic) with several children.
The father, John's, will renders this William and his children's surname
as Heywarde.

Clearly, at least in this part of the world several spellings, including
Hayward and Howard, were interchangeable. What the original was, if
such a term is meaningful, I have no idea.

Ian
Peter Howarth
2018-06-26 06:01:51 UTC
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Post by Peter Howarth
There is no evidence for Hayward becoming Howard. This is folk etymology
In the village of Holme (Almondbury parish) in the between 1704 and 1718
the spellings Hayward, Heywardand Heward was used in the baptisms of the
children of a James H, Haeward (let's cover either preference!) for the
daughter of a George and Heyward again for the daughter of a John.
Heward was also used for the daughter of an Ellen.
In the next generation John, who I take to have been the son of James,
has children baptised as Hayward (twice) Heyward and Howard. A
contemporary, James has 3 children baptised under the name of Heyward
and a George has a child under the name of Hayward.
Two of the sons of John in that 2nd generation were both given the
spelling of Heward in the marriage register although these marriages
were in the neighbouring parish of Kirkburton. Their first children,
baptised in the 1780s & 90s were recorded as Howard with Hayward and
particularly Heward reappearing in the later '901 and 1800s. Eventually
the spelling settled down as Howard.
Earlier, but just across the Penines in Glossop, Derbys, there was a
Goddard family of whom a son Edward became vicar of Amrath in
Pembrokeshire & provided a pedigree (apparently in 1591) which appears
in "Heraldic Visitations of Wales and part of the Marches between the
years 1586 and 1613 by Lewys Dwnn, Vol 1" p198. It shows Edward's
sister Als (sic) marrying William Havard (sic) with several children.
The father, John's, will renders this William and his children's surname
as Heywarde.
Clearly, at least in this part of the world several spellings, including
Hayward and Howard, were interchangeable. What the original was, if
such a term is meaningful, I have no idea.
Ian
I agree I got it wrong to begin with. But it has brought out some proper evidence, for which I am most grateful.

This 'confusion' of names seems to have occurred in modern times at parish level, rather than amongst mediaeval aristocracy. Is that part of the history of surnames, how they spread down through society? Did such wide confusion happen to all surnames of the time or to only some? How much did the pronunciation by the family vary, and how much was it the way the parson interpreted it or wrote it down?* And did things settle down more later on?

It is important that we work from actual evidence, so many thanks for your detailed research. But it seems to raise as many questions as it answers!

Peter Howarth

*In Victorian times, the mistress of the house might change a servant's name to one 'more suited' to their station in life. Or a teacher would enter a child's name onto the register in its 'proper' form, rather than the one used at home.
Ian Goddard
2018-06-26 11:43:01 UTC
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Post by Peter Howarth
Did such wide confusion happen to all surnames of the time or to only some?
Possibly some were more susceptible than others. Dearnley is very
susceptible. Early (C15th) versions which are clearly epithets
referring to the place name are something along the lines of Dernilee.
When the family lost their eponymous farm they moved to Glossop. The
first part became Dear and the latter part seems largely to have stayed
as 2 syllables resulting in present variations Dearnally and Dearnelly.

When it spread west of the Pennines it gradually lost the middle
syllable to become Dearnley. The 2 syllable spelling has worked its way
round to the original placename in Rochdale (not far from Howarth,
incidentally).

I'm not sure of the Glossop/Stockport pronunciation but in my area the
first part is pronounced exactly as in "dear" but others, including Mark
Dearnley who runs the Dearnley genealogy web site pronounces it as if it
were spelled "Durnley".

There are probably a couple of influences at work. One is the general
evolution of English pronunciation and the other is the way regional
accents wrapped the same word round the tongue differently and, at least
in Yorkshire, tended to shorten words.

One well-known example of changing pronunciation is that of "er" which
was formerly close to the modern pronunciation of "ar" and in England
the older pronunciation is retained in the case of Derby and Hertford
while I believe the US pronunciation of Derby is modern and the old
pronunciation of Hertford has been retained but the spelling adjusted to
Hartford (which my spill chucker insisted on!). Is it possible that
something of that nature is happening with Howard? Both Yorkshire and
Lancashire have Haworth place names and in both cases the first element
is pronounced as in "how".

Ian

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