Last name: Ward

This is one of the great surnames of Britain. Deriving from the pre 1066 Norman era, it has two quite distinct origins, one Olde English and the other Gaelic. The 'English' nameholders themselves have two possible derivations, the first being occupational for a civil guard or keeper of the watch and the second topographical, and describing one who lived by a 'werd' - a marsh. Certainly there can be no doubt that Walter de la Warde recorded in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Suffolk lived by a fen, whilst equally Robert le Warde in the Oxfordshire Rolls for the same year of 1273, was a guard. The original coat of arms was born by Sir John Warde of Surrey, at the siege of Calais in 1345. This had the blazon of a blue field charged with a gold cross flory, and is one of the most ancient of all 'arms' on record. The Irish Ward's prominent in Galway and Donegal are claimed to derive their name from the Old Gaelic 'Mac an Bhaird', translating as 'the Son of the Bard'. Certainly Maelisa Macaward was bishop of Clonfert, County Galway, in 1179, although the clergy were supposed to be celebrate! In Scotland John de Warde was recorded as being a tenant of the Earl of Douglas in 1376. The surname was also one of the first into the new American Colonies, John Ward of 'Elizabeth Cittie, Virginia' being a recorded as head of his 'muster' on February 24th 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de la Warda, which was dated 1176, in the 'Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire', during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'the church builder', 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Sylvia Ward

My grandfather was born in Middlesbrough, England in 1901 and came to this country when he was 8 years of age.

Edward Paul Ward
I was born in South Yorkshire, my father in Wallsend, but lots of family in North Yorkshire, try Hovingham,on a plaque in the church there are Wards, a couple did not come back from WW1, they are my family, my great great grandfather worked as a gamekeeper at Hovingham Hall for the Worsley family, he was Robert Edward Ward, hope this helps someone, donnyted392@gmail.com

Jenn Gilkison
Hi I am looking for a woman named Edna Elizabeth Ward who was in Bakersfield, CA in 1961. She was around 16-19 back in 1961. I need to find out some information! thank you. my email is tinkstars3@aol.com

Paul Ward
I have my family tree going back to around 1850 or so, clustered around the Leeds area of Yorkshire, but also spreading out to across the NW of England and over to the US around 1920. As it's come to a dead end finding relatives prior to 1850, I am wondering if I start with Wards from around 1700 and work my way forward I might find a connection later on to my own tree...

Barry Ward
Hi,
My own family name has been traced back to Leeds (my father's birthplace) and then to Northallerton and to the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1804. Try parish records. I am English.

Peder E Ward
Hi, my name is Peder Ward, I’m 18 years old and lives in Norway. My great great great grandfather came to Norway from Sweden in the middle of 1800, his name was Anders Ward and was born 1823. All the Wards in Norway descended from Anders. I’m really interested in my family and want to find out where and why the Ward name came to Nordic. Anders Ward is on the top of my family tree right now, every Ward in Norway descent from him, and I don’t know who his ancestors were… But I hope I can find out and build my family tree even higher. So, if someone know ANYTHING about some Wards in the Nordic around the 1800, I’m glad to hear everything because I write some documents about it. You can contact me here with a comment or even better on facebook (Peder E Ward). Would have been fun to talk about the Ward family with someone. Sorry for my English and see my family tree in the link.

Cheryl Ann Ward
Peder, I found a gg grandfather that came to the US around 1870. His name was John E. Ward here, but I see references to Johan and Elleng. His wife was Bridga or Bridget (nee Ashdod), and she died not long after arriving here. Upon remarriage Elleng lists his birthplace as Norway. Two of the children were named Andrew and Peter, which makes me think there is a connection to your Ward family. Are you aware of anyone from your Ward family that emigrated to the US, around 1868-1870? Another possibility might be that he left Norway to go to Sweden. He may have traveled to the US from there. If there is a link, I will provide what I can from the church records here to possibly explain the presence in Norway. Thanks! Cheryl

Susan Jennifer Ward
Hi my name is Susan Ward and I am looking for any information on the Ward family who lived in and around Sheffield in the mid to late 1800 up until the present time That is Sheffield England. I know that George was part owner of Mitchell main collieries that run under Sheffield and that he was an engineer and married Jane Hutton who came from a family of silversmiths possibly German in origin. Any information would be gratefully received

Sarah Ward
Hello, I'm also from Sheffield and have the surname ward, i was wondering if anyone has any information that could help me as my granddad father was adopted and I'm wondering where the ward surname started for our family

Susan Ward
Hi Sarah I have been doing some research on our common surname and have a couple of origins. 1 is from 1066 and William the Conqueror the other goes back before that to gaelic and celtic origins. it is interesting that we are both from Sheffield England Perhaps we are also related Hope to hear from you soon Susan Ward

Debra Blackwell Wall
Hi, I am heading to Ireland this month in search of my Ward and Wall family connections. Any good starting points or families who would share their information.

Terry B
I am interested in finding my Fathers family. I am English, female, born in 1945. All I know of my Father is that his name was Johnny Ward he was a GI stationed in southern England and he came from the Sanfrenando Valley USA. it's all a long time ago but I would like to know if there is anyone who can connect with me .

John C, Ward
Hi :) I am the 5 generation born 1963 my dad was born in 1924 in Ontario,Canada his father was born 1888 in Ontario, Canada his father was born in 1861 in Ontario, Canada and his father was Alfred Walter Ward born England in about 1833 and his wife was Maria Jane Myers (German Desent) born 22 December in Ontario, Canada. P.S. Do you ever have a problem of picking up a irish accent when you are around irish people ( I do?) it makes me wouder.

Daniel H. Ward
My paternal lineage traces back through Ontario - Ernestown Loyalists. Prior to that the trail goes cold - Albany New York - one mention of Vermont. Not super clear.

Hannah Ward
now that I read this I guess being at the bottom of the register isn't too bad :)

Willy X Ward
I am WIllie Piet Ward in South Africa. I hear my great grand father landed in South Africa around World War two

Audan Ward
My last name is ward im Irish

ann shaw
hello audan my name is ann shaw my ggg grandfather was Patrick Ward his wife was Mary Ann Legge and hale from Tyrone area there may be a connection if I can help my email address is annshaw9999@hotmail.com

hayley
Hi im looking for any information my dad was from liverpol leslie ward he married.my mum and moved to Macclesfield I would love to hear from anybody who knew my dad he sadly died aged 42 this aas 23 years ago hayley

ann jean melia
I had a great grandfather David Joseph Ward who was a tailor.His daughter was named Ellen Ward who married George Fulton in Liverpool England.

hayley
Hi I have family in liverpool surname ward

kristin
My father's surname is Ward. Interesting :)

cybopath
Some bits and pieces of information on my line are my father's direct ancestors an unnamed Irish immigrant 'Who was either stagecoach driver or a horse breeder' who came to Western Scotland in the 18th/19th century and another who died in the Blantyre mining disaster, 22nd October 1877, in Blantyre, Scotland. I could only find the record of one Ward among the recorded dead, Neil Ward, Born 1826 (Who could possibly be the same Irish immigrant or the son/grandson of) who left a widow Ann (McAulay). Then we skip forward, but stay in the Lanarkshire area, to my Grandfather James Ward born around the early 1900's, who lost a brother in the first world war Peter Ward, married Agnes Welsh and had 11 children including my dad Patrick in1938 who moved to Edinburgh in the 1950's. If this in anyway coincides with any other Wards stories please let me know.

MacWard
Really think this should be split between the English and Irish versions of Ward. It's a little confusing putting two completely different family lines together just because they coincidentally ended up spelled the same.

Linda Alter Scott
I am looking for any information on Edna Elizabeth WARD born 1886 or 87...in Kansas, and died in Michigan. She lived in the Flint MI area much of her life. She married Guy English, and divorced, then I find her married to Herbert Sanford in the 1930's census...this is the man I always knew as my great grandfather even though he was not related by blood to me. I just today found a record of marriage for Edna Ward English (parents Nellie Lillie and John Ward) and a Conrad Rudolph Kohn in 1913. The age is a major discrepancy, as she would have been older than 21...she'd been married and divorced from Guy ENGLISH by this time so she must have lied about her age to him. She never talked about him, I have no record of children from this marriage (she was still young) and I would like to look into this gap in my family. If anyone has any info, please contact me at geekygenaddict@gmail.com thanks!

D Ward K
William Ward from Kentucky: I, too, am a Ward with connections to Kentucky. Unfortunately, no one ever thought to write anything down and my grandparents have passed away, so there is scant little information available. I am working on Ancestry.com to learn more about my family. My grandfather was Stanley Eugene Ward, b. 1910 d. 1976. He was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, but there was family in Kentucky (I believe his father was from London/Loudon ? or Laurel County, Kentucky.) He had five sisters and no brothers, his father was George Ward, and his mother was Eliza Chapman Ward, from Virginia. The story is that his father shortened the last name Warden to Ward upon arriving at Ellis Island from (England/Ireland/Germany - take your pick, I've heard all three!). I knew my grandfather's cousin, Randall Warden, and he corroborated this story - HIS father kept the long form of the surname.

Bridget Bridget
My side of the Ward family is from right across the Ohio River near Huntington, West Virginia. My father's parents owned a farm and my father was an only child but with cousins.

Mark Ward

cousins names?

cybopath
If the family name was shortened from Warden it's more than likely they where English as the Irish Ward is shortened from MacWard, if this helps.

Linda
Shayne Wards family live in Manchester. Any link to you Shauna. Just a though and he is on twitter.

shauna
I am looking for my half brother, his mum stopped my dad from seeing him when he was just a baby. My dads name is Mark Sanderson, my half brother is called Martyn Ward and his mum is called Justine Ward and they lived in the greater manchester area. If anyone thinks they know anything please contact me! :)

James Ward
Passing strange - have always assumed the family name came over with the Normans - originally, De Varde - ... Varde being a go-ahead Norman town back in the day. I believe it's about the 70th most common surname in Britain.

Susan Ward
Hello James in my own research I discovered that the DeVarde name came over to England with William the Conquerer and was rewarded for his faithfulness and valiant fighting by being given lands in northern England possibly in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire I am currently trying to tract this down . My own fathers family the Wards owned property in both counties. I am trying to track this information down The family did have their own coat of arms.

Pepsi Freund nee Gibbons
Many moons ago I went to school (40s)wit Margaret Ward...in Manattan, NY (east side) St. Francis de Sales E. 97t St. so they got to NY.

ann marie
my late mother had a sister Margaret M Ward who emigrated from ireland to new york /brooklyn my late mother was born 1926 , i Think Margaret was older and her married name became Franzen. my late mother and family originated from Co Cork Ireland

EdieOkola
Ann Marie - I believe we are first cousins, and I met you in 1967 in England. Am I correct that your mother was Theresa or Teresa? Margaret M (Ward) Franzen was my mother. I hope you see this post and can respond. The posting you responded to was not my mother. If you know of a way that we can communicate more privately, let me know.

zach ward
My dad was in the navy but idt they called him sharky.

Aaron Ward
Have always wanted to know more about my name. I knew an old bloke who used to say sharky to his grandson but not me lol. I had heard that ward comes from being a guard. I had also heard they were guards of the king

Andrew of Mornington
From memory, the term "Sharkey" is Old English, and originally meant boss or chief. I don't know what that old man meant, but language changes over time, and so it's probable that he meant something else, but what I don't know.

casey ward
I have forever wanted to know the reason we have comme je fus (as i am) on the coat of arms.. can any one tell me what the story is behind that if there is one?? would love to know!

Andrew of Mornington
The author of this article needs to do more research: the Celtic Catholic Church of Ireland and the Gaelic areas in Scotland didn't have mandatory celibacy for its clergy. It steadfastly refused to agree with the so-called "reforms" of the 11th century Roman church (which introduced mandatory celibacy in the late 11thC, ostensibly to prevent scandals which were allegedly happening at the time (and which continued to happen regardless)). It also didn't recognise primacy of the Pope, nor worshipped Mary, and was the result of the fusing between 5-6thC Christianity and Celtic traditions - this allowed the Bardic & to some extent the (Christianised) Druidic practices to continue. However, the Anglo-Norman invasions of 1169-1172 (which had the support of the only English Pope in history) ended this, & forcibly 'Romanised' the Gaelic Church in Ireland (at least in the conquered & held areas), prohibiting clerical marriages (which were denounced as "concubinages") & expelling the overtly celtic elements. But, this was only partly successful, and even in the 19thC in Ireland there remained a native Celtic culture within the Church that was at constant loggerheads with the increasingly dominant Roman part as well as the English .... at least until the Irish Famine that is, which destroyed a lot of that which remained of Irish-Gaelic culture in Ireland (that had survived the collapse of the Gaelic order in the 16thC & the plantations, enslavement & partial genocide under Elizabeth 1, james 1 & Cromwell).

macnward2@me.com
Am most interested in your resources. My father was of the clan MacWard from the gaeilic Mac an Bhaird of Donegal

Robert
Hi, my nickname was Sharky when I was serving in the Royal Navy, my surname is Ward and my first two names are Robert James, I think the nickname Sharky came from a old serving member of the Royal Navy who became famous in a battle, Could not tell you if that is true or not as I never questioned my nickname whilst serving stiff upper lip and all that I joined when old Navy was still going so a sixteen year old just kept his mouth shut, I left in 1994 served 5 years.

vic ward
Hi Robert, how strange.. My father was called Raymond Ward, he served in the Royal navy too..and yes, his nickname was sharky!

Dawn
The note about the Doomsday book is correct - I also have heard many times over the years that somewhere the Ward name is connected to Lord Nelson. Also Wards in the Navy were referred to as Sharky??? Anybody know if this is true and if so the reason why???? I was a Ward before marriage, be interesting to here other's tales about the name.

Sarah Mac a Bhaird,( Ward )
Ellen Ward ,Husband Thomas Ward ,not sure where Thomas was born but one of his children was born in County Down, the rest in County Offaly and Tipperary, in the Irish Republic of Ireland I know there is a Ward family connection America but don't know where as they emigrated to the USA years ago many moon's before I was born. >Bowley Ward

Charles Randall Ward
Hello Sarah, I am Charles Ward, my family has a long history of marine Corps Heritege, over 134 yrs in my immediate family alone. Myself, Dad and uncles are all retired from the Corps. This is a really nice site. Shoot me an email if someone has time.

john ward
its still celibate no celbrate