Hayward Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Hayward Meaning
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

The Hayward in the Medieval Village.  There was an interesting entry about pea-gleaning in Wolveston in 1378:

“It was
ordained by common consent that, when the hayward blew his horn, they
should come to gather peas; and when he blew his horn again, they
should depart from the said peas under the pain of 6d and also that
none should gather among other peas than his own except for the poor.” 

The Will of Robert Hayward of Hungerford.  To the Blessed Virgin Mary and all saints in Heaven, my body to be
buried in the churchyard of Hungerford beside my wife Agnes
to the mother church of Sarum, 4d
to the high altar of my parish church at Hungerford, 12d
to the said church, 6s 8d towards a cross to be bought to the church of
silver and gilt and to no other use
to our lady light one pound of wax, to the rood light one pound of wax,
to St. Katherine light one pound of wax
to Thomas Carpynter of Hungerford, 6s 8d
to Robert Helgare of Kintbury, 6s 8d
to the vicar of Hungerford for forgotten tithes, 12d
to every godchild of mine, 4d

I bequeath my three houses set in Hungerford with the land’s pastures
and meadows belonging to them to my son William and his heirs forever;
also to my son William my three acres of arable land lying in Charnam
field by Standgrove.

To my son William three score weathers of the best; also to my son
William all my linen shop with the coffers therewith with the weights
and measures belonging to the same; also to William my horses and my
carts with apparel belonging, also six of my best brass pots, also six
of my best pans, two of my cawdrons, four latten basins, one of my
great kettles, two of my best meshing fats, six of my best
candlesticks, also my great “meshing hony fate” with the press and
leather tags to the same belonging, also half “a garmish ” of pewter
vessels that is to say six plates, six poringers, and six saucers, also
my best bed with apparel (i.e. the best bolster, the best pillow, the
best testor or sparver, the best blankets and the best coverlet; also
the right and title to my indenture which I have to the farm of
tithings belonging to the chapel of St. Faith within the parish of

Also to my wife and William my son all my crops this year growing upon
my land to be divided equally between them; also my wife to have half
the house to dwell in with my son William and half the lands pertaining
to the same during her life and after her death wholly to remain to my
son William and his heirs, the residue to my wife and to William who
are joint executors to dispose for the health of my soul as they think

Witnesses: John Lovelake; Master John Hakett, vicar; Thomas Burton;
Thomas Mason; January Kyrton, Geoffrey Gusset – 28 May, 1524.

Sir Rowland Hayward.  Rowland Hayward was born in Bridgnorth, Shropshire around 1520, the son of
George Hayward a prosperous shoemaker who became the local MP.
The young Rowland was educated in the town’s grammar school. Coming to
London, he was freeman of the Clothworkers’ Company in 1541, was
promoted to the Livery in 1549 and served as Master in 1559.  He
made his money in the international cloth trade.  Later, he was a
founder of the Muscovy Company which sought a northeast passage to the
Indies.   He was wealthy and invested in property around the

civic career was long and distinguished.  He became an Alderman in
1560 and the following year was made President of Bethelem and
hospitals.  He was later to serve as Surveyor General for
hospitals and was revered for his work in plague relief.  However,
he himself succumbed to disease in 1593.

Haywards from Wiltshire in Australia and South Africa.  The Hayward family tree shows them originating in the village of Lacock
in Wiltshire and marrying into the aristocratic Johnson family of
Bowden Hall (there was also a wealthy branch of the Hayward family
living at Freshford manor during the 18th century).

Frederick Hayward, great grandson of John Hayward of Lacock, took
passage from London to Australia in 1846.   He wrote:

“I landed in the colony with about forty pounds, was twenty four years of
age, and anxious to turn my hand to anything in the shape of stock
until I could get sufficient experience to start on my own account
sheep farming.”

He became a notable
figure in the development of sheep farming in South Australia and his
name stands high on the roll of pastoral pioneers.  He returned to
England in 1864 a wealthy man and purchased an estate at Limpley
Stoke.  He named the estate Aroona
after his old South Australian station.  Frederick and his wife
Ellen had eleven children.  He was affectionately known locally as
Squire Hayward and lived onto 1912, close to his ninetieth year.

One of his sons, also named Frederick, was known as “Bull” because of
his size.  He turned up in South Africa in 1889 and created
mayhem.  He made sure that his house at Killrush was a place of
activity and entertainment, building a tennis court and a swimming pool
in the garden.  He also ran an illicit still, keeping someone on
guard to give warning in advance of the authorities arriving.
Stories of him still circulate at Killrush Hotel today.

Thomas Hayward of Bridgewater.  The first Bridgewater Hayward was Thomas Hayward who was born in Aylesford,
Essex in England in 1597. Thomas and his wife Suzanna arrived in America sometime between 1632 and 1640.  One son John was born in
Aylesford in 1632; another son Nathaniel in Bridgewater, Massachusetts
in 1640.

During King Phillip’s War of 1676, Captain Thomas Hayward saw Indians
lurking around Bridgewater and called for reinforcements.  They
was slow in coming.  So an expedition from Bridgewater was sent
out.  They captured or killed 173 Indians.  Those captured
were taken to the town pound.  They were given food and drink and
apparently had a merry night.

Mitchell in his History of the Early
Settlement of Bridgewater
said that John Hayward always wrote
his name Haward and so did all his descendants until after 1700.
He also said that the two names Hayward and Haward were uniformly
pronounced Howard and that they were perhaps the same originally and
both Hayward, but in writing John omitted the “y.”

The Heywards After the Civil War.  Duncan Clinch Heyward, the son of one of the largest rice growers and slaveowners in
the South, wrote about the changed conditions for his family after the
Civil War:

one afternoon in early January 1867, my father arrived at
Combalee.  What seemed to surprise and hurt him most of all was
the changed attitude toward himself of the Negroes who had so feelingly
bade him goodbye when, only a year before, they had left his plantation
on the Wateree.

a letter to my mother, he commented on the rundown condition of
everything and said:

as to the human part of it!  Oh!  what a change.  It
would have killed my father and worries me more than I expected, or
rather the condition of the Negroes on the place is worse than I
expected.  It is so very evident that they are disappointed at my
coming here.   They were in hopes of getting off again and
having the place to themselves.

They received me very coldly.  In fact it was some time before
they came out of their houses to speak to me.  They are as
familiar as possible and surprise me in their newly acquired Beaufort
manner.  They are constantly in Beaufort, quite too much for their
own good.'”

Alvinza Hayward in San Mateo.  Sandwiched between Burlingame to the north and Belmont to the south
and stretching from the bay to the oak-studded hills, San Mateo has
lured prospective residents with its location and mild Mediterranean
climate since Alvinza Hayward built his mansion there in the late

The stick-style mansion with its gabled roof style was impressive
and out of character for the stern, dour, sometimes vulgar Alvinza
Hayward who had lived in the mansion with his wife Charity and daughter

He had on the estate a huge stable and a race track built
to run his magnificent horses.  He fenced in deer and elk for his
enjoyment and he had a lake created with plenty of ducks and
swans.  Of course he had servants for tending to the cooking,
housekeeping, and keeping the gardens, hedges, and grounds in
immaculate shape.  But he was still a man from a laboring
background.  His wife never did quite adjust to being rich and and
practiced thrift almost to the extreme.

When Hayward died in 1904, the mansions and grounds were sold to a
local group and converted into a hotel.  It burned in a
spectacular 1920 fire.

The Haywards and Carrick Hill.  Edward was from the Hayward family which owned the much-loved John
Martin’s (Johnnies) department store in Adelaide for over a
century.  It was he who conceived the John Martin’s Christmas
pageant in 1933, which still attracts crowds of 400,000 each
November.  Ursula hailed from the Barr-Smith family, wealthy
pastoralists and benefactors of many of Adelaide’s cultural

On their honeymoon in England in 1935, they fell in love with Beau
a Jacobean mansion under demolition.  Over the next few years the
magnificent staircase and landings, windows, door fittings, and oak
panelling were transported to Adelaide.  They were part of the new
manor style hall, Carrick Hill, which was completed with local Basket
range stone on the eve of World War Two.

This house, from the 1940’s to the late 1970’s, was one of the major
cultural hubs of Adelaide.  Sir Robert Helpmann and Barry
Humphries would rub shoulders there with the likes of Vivienne Leigh,
Katherine Hepburn, and Dame Judith Anderson over cocktails and at
dinner parties.  It wasn’t just the stars of stage and screen who
came to dinner.  Poets and writers dropped by.  And the
Haywards were art collectors extraordinaire.
The house was one of the few places in Australia where art by Gauguin,
Renoir, and Vuillard could be found.

Carrick Hill was bequeathed to the people of South Australia in


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, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Select Hayward Numbers 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)


Select Hayward and Like Surnames

These were status positions within the feudal position of that time – usually positions serving noble families, lords of the manor, or in the church.  Here are some of these status position surnames that you can check out.




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