This rare and interesting name is of English origin and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Garwood, itself from a so called 'lost' village, a phenomenon arising from enforced land clearance, in the height of the wool trade in the 12th and 13th Centuries, to make way for sheep pasture, as well as the more natural causes, such as plague, war, or the migration of those seeking work elsewhere. These dispossed people would often adopt or be given the name of their birthplace as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.Garwood is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'gara', a spear, with reference to the triangular shape of a spearhead, and 'wudu', a wood, thus a triangular piece of land in a wood. One Nathanial Jerwod married Elizabeth Deadman on December 4th 1808 at St. Anne's, Soho, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Martha Jarwood, which was dated February 21st 1668, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, during the reign of King Charles 11, 'The Merry Monarch', 1660-1685. 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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