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Origins of the Ward surname

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What does the name Ward mean?

Ward is a relatively common surname with a number of origins. Most often, it is an occupational English name deriving from the Old English word 'warde' or 'wearde', which means to 'watch' or 'guard'. This name would have been given to a watchman, guard or gatekeeper. Alternately, and far less commonly, there is a topographical origin for the surname Ward that stems from 'werd', meaning 'marsh'. Secondly in Ireland it can derive from 'Mac an Bh�ird' (son of the bard).

Alternative variations of the name Ward

Ward, Warde, Word, Wart, Warth

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Where do most Wards live?

In 1921, most Wards lived in Yorkshire.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Wards

How common is your surname?

32nd most common surname in the UK

We have 676,000 records for the Ward surname. The oldest one dates back to 1100.

Who were Wards most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Wards.

What are the most common Ward first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Ward family members

Common jobs for Wards

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Wards in 1921


Domestic Servant




General Servant Domestic


Cotton Weaver


Common Male occupations for Wards in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


Coal Miner


General Labourer




Farm Labourer


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