Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It has two possible origins. The first is from the pre 7th Century personal name "Wulfweard", composed of the elements "wulf", meaning a wolf and "weard", a guardian. This is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the slightly fused spellings of Wluuard and Vluuard, and as a personal name was still in use as Wolfward until the 14th Century. The second is locational from a place called Wolford in the county of Warwickshire first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Wolwarde.The place name means "defended against the wolves. The surname is recorded as Wool(l)ard, Woolatt, Wollard, Woolward, Wolfarth, Wolford, Wolforth, Woolford(e) and others. As an example Anne Woolard married Thomas Gourlay on April 1st 1690 at St. James, Dukes Place, Westminster whilst the very first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Martin Wlward. This was dated 1199, in the Fines Court recordsof Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Richard lst of England and known to history as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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