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MCWARD Family History

Recorded in the spellings of Ward, Warde, and Wards, this famous and noble surname, the family name of the earls of Dudley and Bangor, and with over seventy coats of arms assigned to nameholders, is widespread throughout the British Isles. The origins are pre 7th century,and it is generally accepted that the name was originally occupational for a town guard. This is from the Olde English word "weard" - meaning a member of the watch, the watch being the earliest form of police or militia. In a few instances the surname may be topographical for one who dwelt by marshy land, the word "ward", in the counties of Essex and Kent in the medieval times, described a marsh.

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