Saturday, 5 June 2010

Surname Saturday: Haywood

I am so excited!  This new blog (the first blog I have ever tried to write) has been announced by GeneaBloggers in its listing of new genealogy blogs.

That said, let me turn my attention to Surname Saturday.  I am starting with my own surname - HAYWOOD - "a very good place to start", as someone once sang (!).  The surname probably arose from a location, and seems to derive from  'an enclosed forest' or 'fenced wood' in Old English, although you will also find that some derive it from the Scottish Clan of HAY and the Viking god of war (Wodin)...

Some have also linked it with the Midlands of England, and certainly my researches have led me either there or nearby.  You see, my HAYWOODs were all potters and brickmakers, and seemed to suddenly appear from nowhere in Devon.  Then, some years ago, I was contacted by someone in Burslem, in Staffordshire, which is one of the pottery towns that now make up Stoke-on-Trent.  Nearby is where Wedgwood designed his famous pottery - and there is a family of HAYWOODs there.  One of their sons, John, was the black sheep of the family, and was thrown out, never to be heard from again - and suddenly, my John appears in Devon as a potter!  I have not yet been able to link him with Burslem, but it is an avenue I will not forget in a hurry.

Down through the years, all the HAYWOOD men (and sometimes the ladies, too) had something to do with the pottery and brick trade.  Brickmakers, tile makers, earthenware painters - they began working in the pottery area of Bovey Tracey in Devon, then rose to manage the brickworks at South Down in Cornwall.  My grandfather was one of the first to break away from this traditional job, becoming a shipwright like the family he married into, who all had something to do with the sea - my father broke away from both those trades, becoming first a baker and then joined the Royal Air Force.  Nowadays, the bottle kilns and surrounding buildings at Bovey Tracey have been redeveloped into the House of Marbles: a museum, glass blowing centre, the home of the largest collection of marbles in the world, and gift shop.  I wonder what great great great great grandfather John would have thought of that...


  1. Welcome to the geneabloggers group!

  2. Hi, welcome to Geneabloggers. I am a new blogger too! A branch of my family came from Devon also - SMITH and DAVEY, from Teignmouth and Nymet Tracey.
    Happy blogging :-)



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