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Origin and History of the Garwoods

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Surname/tag: Garwood
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The origin of the name "Garwood" is uncertain.


One theory is that Garwood is a name in its own right, derived from Old English: Gara (Gore, a triangular road or segment) and Wudu (Wood, forest).

Two sources support this etymology, though they disagree on where the name originates, one claiming East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk areas),[1] and the other Yorkshire.[2]

This could either refer to a triangular forest, or a road leading to a forest.

In this case, one variation could indeed be Gorwood.

Research so far seems to suggest that the Garwoods did, in fact, originate in East Anglia.


Another source speculates that it is actually a variant of the name "Gaywood", itself a village in Norfolk, one of the areas in which the Garwoods seem to have originated. Gaywood is itself apparently a corruption of Old English "Gat-Wudu", meaning the goat's wood.[3]

In this case, associated variants might include Gatwood, Caywood, Kaywood etc.


Here is a list of names that may (or may not) be associated with the name Garwood:

  • Carwood
  • Cawood
  • Caywood
  • Garrod (though that could be crossing over into names like Garrett, Gerard, Gerrard, Garrould etc)
  • Gatwood
  • Gawood
  • Gaywood
  • Gerwood
  • Girwood
  • Gorwood
  • Gurwood
  • Jarwood
  • Kaywood


Gathered 18th June 2021. All numbers are approximates and only include those with a recorded surname of "Garwood".


  • Baptisms (1566-1976): 1893.
  • Marriages (1577-1992): 966.
  • Burials (1539-1977): 1302.


  • Births (1837-1991): 6916.
  • Marriages (1837-1991): 5114.
  • Deaths (1837-1991: 4418.


  1. Garwood at Ancestry name origins
  2. Garwood at SurnameDB
  3. Garwood at House of Names

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Categories: Garwood Name Study