There are two distinct origins of the last name Howard, one official, the other baptisimal; one representing once well-known office of Hayward, the other representing rge still earlier first name Hereward. Both of these names, totally distinct in origin, had a determined bias towards the form Howard, and in time reached it. Official, 'the hayward,' i.e. the custodian of the fences, from 'hay' or 'haw,' a hedge, and 'ward,' a guardian. It is clear that if Hayward was also pronounced Haward, the further step to Howard would be inevitable. The other name origin is 'the son of Heward.' The different stages of this first name seem to have been Hereward, Harward, Haward or Heward, and Haward. It is commonly found in the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries, and had become a last name when the Hundred Rolls were compiled. Most of the Howards are unquestionale descendants of the first name. It is the double origin that made Howard such a well known surname in England.
William, son of Roger Fitz Valevine, took the name of Howard from being born in the Castle of Howard, in Wales, in the time of Henry I. Spelman derives Howard from 'Hof-ward,' the keeper of a hall; Vestegan, from 'Hold-ward,' the keeper of a stronghold; Camden, from 'Hoch-ward,' the high keeper.