This interesting surname is of locational origin, associated in particular with a habitation site in Cheshire. It has been suggested that the word Yarwood is connected with the two pre 7th Century Old English words 'earn' meaning eagle and 'wudu', a wood. The surname Yarwood and its various variants such as Yerwood, Yearwood, etc., is today most commonly found in Lancashire, but one of the earliest surviving recorded references occurs in the London church registers, in the early 17th Century (see below). An early Lancashire reference occurs on April 22nd 1649, when one Anne, daughter of William Yerwood is noted as being christened at St. Peter's, Bolton. On November 4th 1679 a Ticket of Emigration was granted to a Thomas Yarwood on the 'Endeavour' bound from the Barbadoes to Carolina. John Yarwood married Sarah Goddin at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London on January 2nd 1695. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marcus Yearwood, son of William Yearwood, which was dated March 15th 1611, christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603-1625. 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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