Recorded in the spellings of Harwood and Harewood, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It is locational from any of the various places so called in the Border Region, and the counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lothian, and Northumberland. All the places have the same meaning and origin being composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century word "har", meaning grey, or possibly "hara", the hare, plus "wudu", literally meaning wood. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname itself first appears in records in the late 12th Century (see below), while other examples include Bernard de Harewode in the English charters known as the "Feet of Fees" in 1242, and Alice Harewode, in the Somerset Subsidy Rolls for 1327. In Scotland one Roger de Hauewod held lands near Edinburgh in 1317, whilst later Ralph Harwood, aged 23 yrs., was one of the early settlers in Barbados in the West Indies, leaving London on the ship Hopewell in February 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hubert de Harewda, which was dated 1176, in the "Yorkshire Charters". This was during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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