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.

Hayward Resources on

Hayward Ancestry

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

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
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.
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
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

East of England
The Hayward name cropped up in Hungerford in Berkshire, in
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

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
in the South
, employing more than 3,000 slaves at one

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
    who made his fortune
    the Gold Rush and was called “the richest man in
  • 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
  • and Leland Hayward, the grandson of a US Senator from
    Nebraska, who came to Hollywood in the 1940’s and was soon acting as
    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

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
    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
    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:

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)




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