Skip to content
  • Start free trial

Origins of the Wood surname

A collage of historical images including two family portraits and a postcard of people boarding a ship

What does the name Wood mean?

The origin of the Wood surname is mostly geographic. It's a British name (26th most popular in England and Wales, 53rd most popular in Scotland) found as early as the 1200s, common throughout the English-speaking world (78th most prevalent in the United States) and is most often used to describe someone who lived or worked in some form of wood or forest. More rarely, the surname Wood can be an anglicisation of the German Wald, or derive from the nickname for someone 'wild', from the Old English 'wod'.

Alternative variations of the name Wood

Wood, Woode, Woods, Wode, Woud

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

TrustPilot review
1 of 3

Start your family tree

Trace your family back in time. Make new discoveries and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Woods.

Sign up to get started

Delve deeper into the Wood family's history

Where do most Woods live?

In 1921, most Woods 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 Woods

How common is your surname?

17th most common surname in the UK

We have 965,000 records for the Wood surname. The oldest one dates back to 1086.

Who were Woods most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Woods.

What are the most common Wood first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

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

Common jobs for Woods

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

Common Female occupations for Woods in 1921


Domestic Servant


Cotton Weaver




General Servant Domestic


Common Male occupations for Woods in 1921
Coal Miner


Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer






An image of a census transcript and a picture of a dairy farmer holding two milk jugs

Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 980,000 family trees with the Wood surname

Trace your family back in time and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Woods.

Search for a relative in our family trees

Share your discoveries

Find out more about your family in our records

or try an advanced search

Start your family history journey

Start free trial

Start free trial