This topic gets more and more interesting.  Most of the earliest known records of the name Hurwood come from various parish sources from the latter half of the 16th century in and around Somerset and Yorkshire.  Most of the given names from this period appear to be (or written in) latin, ending in “is”, “us” or “am” in most cases.

The earliest known record of the name Hurwood comes from the parish records of Wedmore in Somerset. On 23rd November, 1564, Gulielmus Hurwood married Johannam Jeninges.  Wedmore is less than 15 kilometres from Blagdon where previously unconnected records from the 19th century have turned up.

St Marys Church Wedmore
St Marys Church Wedmore
Some parts of this church are as old as the early 13 th century.
This view is from the south/east, looking north/west from Church St.

Original and more photos at Wedmore Genealogy Photographs

Other early references include several Hurwood marriages between 1599 and 1619 at Pontefract, a town on the eastern outskirts of modern-day Leeds in Yorkshire.  None of these very early references include information that allows us to connect them as yet with any other known Hurwoods.

John and Eisbell Hurwood of How begin the traceable history of the Hurwood family and the root of the known tree. There are no dates recorded for them but their oldest (recorded) child, John, was born in 1673. “How” is likely to be a place of origin designation referring to the location of Howe in the Parish of Pickhill in the North Riding of Yorkshire in England. The title (and spelling) are ascribed in the genealogical chart prepared by William Squire Dann, published in 1958.

Parish Church Pickhill
Parish Church, Pickhill

The church yard in Pickhill contains a number of Hurwood graves. The nearest major centre at this time was eight miles away at Northallerton.

Information found by Dick Hurwood from the family tree of Swinburne shows that “John Swinburne, of Wylam, under 15 in 1545…..married secondly Isabel Booth (daughter of Robert Booth of Hurwood, County Durham)”.  Dick states that there “is a Hurworth-on-Tees on modern maps, but no Hurwood. I am trying to trace old place names in Durham County (which is only a few miles north of Pickhill) – perhaps it was a village that got wiped out in the plague… that might support the arrival south of a survivor a few years later??”.


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