This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is in most instances a topographical surname, for someone who lived by the "in-wood", the home-wood, as opposed to the "out-wood". The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "in", in, with "wudu", wood. There is a country house, a "seat", in Somerset near Stalbridge, and it is possible that some bearers of the surname may derive their names from this area, or from some other now lost or unrecorded place named with the same elements. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is found particularly in the Home Counties, and examples from various Church Registers include the christening of John, son of John Inwood, in Farnham, Surrey, on July 21st 1547, and the marriage of Nicholas Inwood and Margaret Clarke, on October 11th 1573, at Burnham, Buckinghamshire. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is blazoned as follows: Vert (green) a griffin passant or (gold), on a chief of the second three laurel leaves of the first. The Crest shows a gold demi lion rampant holding a blue battle axe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Inwode, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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