This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place believed to have been situated in Northern England, probably in Yorkshire, due to the prevalence of church recordings of the surname in that county. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 15th Century. The placename Garwood derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "gara", referring to a triangular piece of land, or to a spearhead, plus "wudu" meaning a wood. Variant spellings include Gerwood, Gurwood and Gorwood. One Joseph Gorwood married Margaret Wemble on March 12th 1675, at St. Mary le Bone, London. Another London marriage was that of Hannah Garwood to James Mansfield on July 21st 1699, at St. Katherine by the Tower. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cicle Garwod, which was dated August 7th 1575, christened at Great Edstone, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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