Select Hayward Surname Genealogy

The word hayward appeared in the English medieval poem Piers Plowman that was written in the 14th century.

A hayward had an important role to play in the feudal manorial system.  His original duties were to protect the fences around the lammas lands when enclosed for hay - hence his name Hayward from the Old English hezeweard or "guardian of the hedge."  The heze was a dead hedge easily erected or removed to form an enclosure. 

The hayward duties might also extend to seeing that breaches in the hedges were repaired, that straying cattle were impounded, and that fines, where deemed necessary, were issued and collected.  Surname variants have been Haward and Heyward.

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Select Hayward Ancestry

England.  Rural England, as might be expected, has been where the surname Hayward was to be found, either in the west country (from Shropshire down to Hampshire on the south coast) or in the southeast (East Anglia and Kent).

West of England  George Hayward was a prosperous shoemaker in Bridgnorth, Shropshire in the early 1500's.  His son Rowland Hayward became wealthy from the international cloth trade and emerged as one of the leading merchants and financiers in London in the Elizabethan age.  He was a man of remarkable energy, marrying at the age of 60 a woman of 16 who was to bear him eight children.  He was revered in London for his work in plague relief, but succumbed himself to the disease in 1593.  These Haywards retained a base in Shropshire, at their Wenlock manor hall.  

Haywards were to be found in Gloucestershire at Beverstone and Stonehouse and also in Bristol. 

An old Wiltshire family produced Abraham Hayward, a Victorian man of letters.  Other Haywards in Wiltshire have been traced to Freshfield manor in the 18th century and also to the villages of Roundway, Lacock and Westbury. Frederick Hayward left Lacock in 1846 for South Australia where he made his money in sheep-farming.  He returned a wealthy man and played the role of local squire in later life. 

East of England  The Hayward name cropped up in Hungerford in Berkshire, in Great Bardfield in Essex, and in villages near Sudbury and Stowmarket in Suffolk.  Thomas Hayward from Ringshall Hall in Suffolk set off for Western Australia in the 1850's where he prospered as a farmer and merchant.

America.  The first Hayward arrivals in America, in the 1630's, may well have been Thomas and Suzanna Hayward from Aylesford in Kent.  They settled in Bridgewater and their descendants in Easton, Massachusetts.  Later descendants were to be found in New Jersey and in Michigan and Minnesota.

Haywards in the South  Daniel Heyward arrived in Charleston in the 1670's and was the forebear of one of the leading families of South Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Thomas Heyward was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Later Haywards were among the largest rice growers in the South, employing more than 3,000 slaves at one time. 

However, the family was ruined by the Civil War and a subsequent Heyward, DuBose Heyward, grew up in straightened circumstances.  He was the author of the play Porgy and in the 1930's combined with George Gershwin for the score for Porgy and Bess.

Haywards in California  It has been in California where Haywards have also left their mark in America:
  • Alvinza Hayward who made his fortune during the Gold Rush and was called "the richest man in California." 
  • William Hayward who arrived in San Francisco at around the same time.  He made no money from gold mining.  But he left his name to the city of Hayward, now part of Oakland. 
  • and Leland Hayward, the grandson of a US Senator from Nebraska, who came to Hollywood in the 1940's and was soon acting as the agent for many of the top movie stars.  He is best remembered today for his Broadway stage productions of South Pacific and The Sound of Music.
Canada.  Ephraim Hayward, a New England planter, came to Nova Scotia from Massachusetts in the early 1760's.  His descendants are still to be found there.  Henry Hayward, a British soldier, was granted land in Hopewell, New Brunswick after the Revolutionary War.

Later Hayward arrivals came to Ontario, such as William and Hannah Hayward from Essex who crossed the Atlantic in 1837 and settled in Eastwood, Oxford county.  Another Hayward family, from Westbury in Wiltshire, arrived in the 1850's.  Several of them later moved onto Alberta.

Australia.  Elizabeth Hayward was a clogmaker who stole a linen dress and silk bonnet.  For this crime she was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia.  She was onboard the First Fleet convoy in 1788. At age 13, she was then and remained the youngest woman ever transported. 

Hayward House in Port Macquarie, NSW was built by Charles Hayward, a convict who came to Australia in 1826.  His son Frederick became Port Macquarie's second mayor.

The main Hayward presence, however, has been in South Australia:
  • Fred Hayward from Somerset started a sheep station at Pekina near Burra in 1847.  His account of his life at that time, Incidents in My Australian Life, was written in 1872. 
  • Other Haywards became one of the old established families of Adelaide.  They bought into the John Martin's department store on Rundle Street in 1878.  Sir Edward Hayward of this family took over the business in the 1930's.        
Select Hayward Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Hayward Names

Sir Rowland Hayward, a cloth merchant from Shropshire, was twice Lord Mayor of London in Elizabethan England.
Thomas Hayward from Hungerford in Berkshire was the editor of The British Muse, an 18th century anthology of poetry.
Alvinza Hayward became the richest man in California after the money he made in the Gold Rush.
Sir Edward Hayward ran the John Martin's department store in Adelaide and started its annual Christmas pageant in 1933.
Ike Hayward, the son of a Welsh coalminer, was leader of the London County Council from 1947 to 1965. The Hayward art gallery on the South Bank was named after him.
Leland Hayward was a powerful and highly successful Hollywood agent and Broadway producer during the 1940's and 1950's. 
Sir Jack Hayward is the English property developer best known for his ownership of his hometown football club, Wolverhamption Wanderers.

Select Haywards Today
  • 14,000 in the UK (most numerous in Hampshire)
  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 10,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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