- This interesting name has two possible origins, both of which are Anglo-Saxon. The first possible source is from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Wulfweard", composed of the elements "wulf", wolf and "weard", guardian, protector. The given name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wluuard" and "Vluuard", and was still used in its Middle English form of "Wol(f)ward" up until the 13th Century. The second origin for the modern surname, found as Wool(l)ard, Woolatt, Wollard, Woolward, Wolfarth, Wolford, Wolforth, Woolford(e) and Woolfoot, is from the locational surname "Wolford", deriving from the place so called in Warwickshire. The placename is recorded as "Wolwarde" in the Domesday Book and is named with the same elements as the personal name "Wulf" and "Weard", to mean "enclosure to protect flock from wolves". One Anne Woolard married Thomas Gourlay on April 1st 1690 at St. James, Dukes Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Martin Wlward, which was dated 1199, in the Cambridgeshire Fines Court Records, during the reign of King Richard l, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.