This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two places thus called. Cawood in Lancashire was recorded as "Kawode" in the 1225 Cockersand Chartulary, and Cawood in the West Riding of Yorkshire was recorded as "Cawuda" in the Saxon Chartulary (972), and as "Cawude" in the 1184 Pipe Rolls. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ca", jackdaw, with "wudu", wood; hence "jackdaw wood". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 14th Century (see below). Johannes de Cawode is listed as a Freeman of York in 1383. On July 22nd 1571, Robert Cawood married Elizabeth Campson at Worsborough, Yorkshire, and Thomas, son of Johne Cawood, was christened on September 25th 1575, at Halifax, Yorkshire. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Richard Cawood (22 years), who departed for the Barbadoes in April 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a shield divided per chevron embattled black and silver, with three harts' heads cabossed within a bordure per fesse all counterchanged, the bordure charged with ten trefoils. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus de Cawod, which was dated 1370, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire" during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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