Nov 112014

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 Chruch 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 thegenealogical 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)”.  In a recent email, 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??”.

Nov 112014

Thanks to Brett Wanless whose innocent question over a beer one night kicked this whole thing off. Obviously, I am also greatly indebted to all of my genealogical sources.

Finally made the leap to WordPress and a bunch of useful stuff that just seems to come up with the cornflakes.

The site masthead is based on a portion of the original family tree chart by William Squire Dann and a photograph provided by Keith Hutcheson Hurwood which shows the family of William Squire Hurwood Snr in the front yard of “Baldersby”, Mark St, New Farm, Queensland circa 1908.

The quote shown on the home page is from Plutarch’s “Of the Training of Children”, from Dryden’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives, corrected and revised by A. H. Clough.

The terms of use statement was provided by Simon Newcomb.

To my mum, thanks for holding together a huge amount of information (both paper sources and in her head) about the recent history of some dozen families and passing it all on to me.

Nov 112014

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Unless otherwise stated, all material on this site is copyright © Peter Andrew Hurwood 1998-2014. Subject to the limited licence below, all rights are reserved.

You may reproduce the material on this site for non-commercial purposes only. Any reproduction must be an exact reproduction and must contain the statement “© Peter Andrew Hurwood 1998-2014. Reproduced under licence.”

While I (Peter Andrew Hurwood) have taken care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, I make no representations or warranties that it is accurate, correct or current. I will not be liable to any person for any loss, damage, cost, expense or liabilty (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) arising out of or in relation to the information or material on this site or the use or reliance on it by any person.

Nov 112014

I have not been able to find any definitive meaning or source for the name “Hurwood”.

Some reasonable conjecture includes:

If anyone has more information about the Hurwood name, please let me know.


The name, as far as can be determined, originates in the southern part of the North Riding of Yorkshire in England. The earliest recorded use of the name was by Gulielmus Hurwood who married Johannam Jeninges at Wedmore, Somerset in 1564. No verifiable connection between Gulielmus and other known Hurwoods as yet been established. The earliest traceable member of the family was John Hurwood of How who lived in the Parish of Pickhill in Yorkshire (circa 1650).

New 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)”.  In a recent email, 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??”.

Family Rumour

The most widely-spread (and plausible) family rumour says that “hur” was a diminutive or slang form of the word “hewer”: literally, a hewer of wood. This indicates that the Hurwoods may have originally been woodsmen of some description, maybe land clearers, wood collectors or of some related trade.

Bruce Hurwood (from Nova Scotia in Canada) confirms this rumour – he is descended from Frederick Hurwood, an as yet unknown part of the family.

Plausible Derivations

In the early 19th Century, there was an Earl of Harewood in the North Riding of Yorkshire. It is possible that “Hurwood” is a derivative of this name. Other similar (soundex) names include Harwood and Hurwirth.

Known Mis-spellings

Richard and Vicky Hurwood report that some Hurwoods registered in London were actually recorded as HORWOOD. Other obvious mispellings/SOUNDEX names are: HARWOOD, HERWOOD, HORWITH.

Changed by Deed Poll

The following information was sent to HFT:

“My grandfather and grandmother left russia in the 1890’s because the tsar
instituted a progrom and it was directed against jewish people. They ended up in
Rochester, New York. He was a peddler and with a wagon, he went out into rural New York
selling a variety of goods. My father and his brothers changed their name from Hurwitz to
Hurwood because they were being denied job opportunities and also because the name sounded too foreign.” G. Hurwood

This name change story seems to be backed up by information found at the “Henry Hurwitz/Menorah Association Collection”:

“Henry Hurwitz was born July 14, 1886 in a small village in Lithuania (about twenty miles from the capital city of Kovno). His family immigrated to the United States in 1891… Circa 1918, Henry Hurwitz married Ruth Sapinsky …, a native of New Albany, Indiana. … The Hurwitz’s had two sons: Henry Hurwitz, Jr. (1919-) and David L. Hurwood (1922- ). Henry Hurwitz died on November 19, 1961 in New York City.”

Henry Hurwitz was a prominent Jewish scholar in America and is not likely to be the Hurwitz talked about in the first story above. It does seem though that his son, David, chose to use the name Hurwood, which would support the idea that some people have changed their name from Hurwitz to Hurwood.

Proper Names

As you can probably imagine, the name Hurwood hasn’t been at the forefront of cartographers’ minds when naming new landmarks. Unlikely as it may seem, there is a Hurwood Plaza in Merritt Island, Florida. Anyone have any idea who this was named after?

Of businesses, there appears to be a publishers – Ellis Hurwood Ltd and another in Hartford, Connecticut, the Hurwood Company, some sort of industrial company.

Not a family reference, but interesting never the less:

Stanley Rule & Level : “Hurwood” Slotted Screwdriver.
Length: 9.00 Inches. According to the time line, the “Hurwood” line of screwdrivers and kindred tools was added to the Stanley product line with the acquisition of the Hurley & Wood Company of Connecticut in 1903. Stanley retained the “Hurwood” line for many years for one simple reason: they were the best screwdrivers made.

And from a similar source, the Hurwood Aladdin lantern:

The Hurwood Aladdin Lantern

Nov 112014

From time to time, a previously unknown branch of the family
comes to light. This is the home of current conjecture about these discoveries. As such,
it should be noted that this information will not necessarily be included in the database
until it can be verified.

To allow other researchers to easily identify lines, I have
cross-referenced each new discovery by location:

Earliest Hurwoods

The earliest Hurwood record comes from Wedmore in Somerset.  It
is less than 15 kilometres from Blagden (see below).  The parish records show a
number of marriages between 1564 and 1659:

17-Jun-1591    Hurwood
Aliciam m. Pitte Gulielmus
11-May-1659    Hurwood Dorothy m. Pople John
23-Nov-1564    Hurwood Gulielmus m. Jeninges Johannam
08-Jul-1594    Hurwood Isabellam m. Broadripe Joannes
18-Oct-1607    Hurwood Janam m. Hedlonge Gulielmus
06-Jun-1594    Hurwood Johannam m. Popham Gulielmus
01-Apr-1611    Hurwood Robertus m. White Sarah
14-Jul-1625    Hurwoode Editham m. Quick Joannes

No records available show any connection between any of these Hurwoods or
between these people and other Hurwoods recorded elsewhere at this time.

Somerset Hurwoods

Another disconnected branch of the family
has been discovered in Somerset in England and is possibly the descendents of some of
the Wedmore Hurwoods shown above. The family of Uriah and Charlotte Hurwood lived in both
Blagden and Howley in Somerset in the early part of the 19th Century. Uriah was a labourer
and was buried on 27 Apr 1845 in Blagden.

Blagdon Church, Somerset

Uriah and Charlotte had six children between 1827and 1837, four
of which survived infancy. They were John, Matilda, Henry and Charles, the other two being
another John and another Charles.

It seems that Uriah had a brother (or cousin) called Hugh who
originally married Charlotte. Hugh was a baker in Blagden and his only recorded child,
James was baptised on 22 Jan 1824. This is prior to the baptisms of all of the children of
Uriah and Charlotte.

Also in the Somerset area were Robert and Dinah Hurwood, whose
son William was baptised on Christmas Day 1795. Given this date, it is possible that
Robert was Uriah’s father or uncle, though this is hard to prove since, as yet, I have no
location for Robert and Dinah.

Newcastle Hurwoods

Recorded in the Registers of South Shields
St Hilda (1859-1868) is the marriage of James Hurwood to Jane Metcalf on 21 May 1866. This
could be the same son of Hugh and Charlotte Hurwood. James could have relocated after the
death(?) of his father or he could be an entirely different James, who maybe moved down
the coast from Yorkshire.

It may be more likely that James is a nephew of Walton Hurwood (b
1834). Walton married Jane Glough in this same church in 1855. As all twelve of Walton’s
children have been accounted for and none are named James, it is likely that James is the
son of one of Walton’s brothers: most likely George or John.

This part of England is fast emerging as another major location
for the Hurwood family.

South Shields St Hilda
Photo from Durham
pages on GENUKIl

Picture supplied by George Bell

More information can be obtained from the South Shields
on the GENUKI Durham site.

London Hurwoods

Mary Hurwood-Trew has provided details of her family
who haved lived in and around London for at least the whole of the 20th century. Her
father William John Hurwood was born in 1908. The details of her grandparents are sketchy.

The only possible connection I have, given Mary’s information, is that
Tony could be Anthony, son of Albert Edward Hurwood and Fanny Whitley. No other siblings
are known for Anthony and no spouse, but one child is recorded – a daughter, Maragaret.

Information from Bruce Hurwood of Nova Scotia, Canada, gives
details of his line descended from his great-grandfather Frederick Hurwood. Bruce is not
sure when Frederick emmigrated to Canada.

If you are a member of these “lost tribes” or can
provide a connection to those listed on this page, I would appreciate it if you could
contact me.

Nov 112014

A number of memorials still exist in the church yard in Pickhill
in Yorkshire. Unreadable portions of the stones are shown with a series of underscores.

of Pickhill who departed this life
on the 15th of August 1856.

“In memory of Elizabeth wife of William Squire of Pickhill, who
died October 10th 1776 aged 65 years.
Also George Squire of Pickhill who died Dec 2nd 1779 aged 92.
Also the above William Squire who died April 1st 1781 aged 60.
Also William son of the above William and Elizabeth Squire died January 19th 1782 aged 24

“In memory of Ann Hurwood
wife of Anthony Hurwood ____ November 1852
William Squire Hurwood son of the above Anthony and Ann Hurwood who departed this life
Also Anthony Hurwood husband of the above Ann Hurwood who departed this life August 21st
1856 aged 84 years.”

“William Wright of Pickhill who died 30th April 1905 aged 79 years
Alos Ann Elizabeth his wife born 21st March 1827
died 5th March 1908.”

Nov 112014

There aren’t that many Hurwoods to begin with, but a few have
made it into the public eye.

Alan Spence Hurwood

A bright spark…
(Quoted from the “Bright
database maintained by the University of Melbourne)

ash_oil.jpg (34281 bytes)
Alan Hurwood (right) distilling oil in Roma in 1927

Alan worked for the Queensland Government for 50 years, being Deputy
Government Analyst from 1946 and subsequently Deputy Director of the Government Chemical
Laboratory until his retirement in 1961. He distilled the first samples of oil found in
Australia at Roma in 1927 and was also associated with the initial work on eradication of
prickly pear and on blowfly strike in sheep.

Alexander Hurwood

For a family
originally from Yorkshire, I
suppose we had to have at least one…

Alexander Hurwood

Cricketer (bowler), played for Queensland and Australia.

Alex played two tests for Australia, both against the West Indies
in the 1930-31 season. He was also a member of the 1930 Ashes Tour to England, playing
against a number of the county sides but not in any of the tests. Alex’s test career
statistics can be seen at “The Baggy Green“.

Alex played his club cricket with Valleys. His record at this
level included 350 wickets and almost 50 catches. To commemorate the first 100 years of
Brisbane Grade Cricket, a “Valley Team of the Century” was announced on 3rd
October 1997 including the following players:

Kepler Wessels
Matthew Hayden
Roy Levy
Allan Border (Captain)
Stuart Law
Leo O’Connor (w/k)
Jim Harten
Brett Henschell
Alex Hurwood
Malcom Francke
Col Cooke
Keith Dudgeon (12th man)

Also of note, Alex was the lead bowler used against Donald Bradman when Bradman scored his record 452 runs in the Sheffield Shield match between
Queensland and NSW in the 1929-30 season.

Alex took Bradman’s wicket in the first innings from a catch by
Leeson for only 3 runs. In the second innings, Alex took 6 wickets for 179 runs off 34
overs with one maiden. He finished the match with total figures of 56 overs, 7 maidens, 10
wickets for 236 runs.

Family rumour says that Bradman, on retiring at the end of his
innings, said: “I would have scored a lot more if it wasn’t for Hurwood”.