Yould is an English surname mostly found in Cheshire and Flintshire. Variants of the surname are Youd, Youde and Eaude.
The earliest record dates from 1427 and in 1562 the name appears in Little Budworth in Cheshire.
Currently, little is known about the meaning or origin of this unusual and rare surname, it is not listed in any books of British surnames.
This has led to theories of Huguenot, Flemish or Jewish roots which cannot be substantiated.
Viking roots are a more likely possibility as the Wirral peninsula was colonised by Norwegian Vikings from 902 AD onwards and Viking settlements also existed further inland in West Cheshire.
It is hoped that DNA profiling from suitable Yould descendants will prove or disprove this theory.
The earliest document located so far that mentions Yould or one of its variants are muster rolls of English soldiers serving in France during the Hundred Years' War.1427: John Eude, man-at-arms stationed in Rouen garrison
1430: William Yoold, archer stationed in Avranches garrison
1437: Davy Yoult, archer in field at the siege of Tancarville
The next early records are Parish registers listing baptisms, marriages and burials according to the law of 1538. However most churches only started to keep records a few decades later.
1561: Parish records start in Little Budworth
1562: Katrena, daughter of Thomas Yolde and Johanne Holbrocke is baptised in St Peter's Church, Little Budworth
1585: Parish records start in Hawarden
1586: Edward, son of John Ewde is baptised in St Deiniol's Church, Hawarden
The surname then spread to nearby towns and villages in West Cheshire and Flintshire, becoming relatively numerous in Whitegate, Tarporley, Frodsham, Acton, Gorstage, Weaverham, Hawarden and Chester.
Over 40 variants of the surname were recorded in the 16th and 17th century, examples are:Yewd, Yeud, Yeoud, Yowd, Yeowed, Yowood, Eude, Eaude, Ewd, Hude, Hewde etc.
Today only Youd, Youde, Eaude and Yould are in use.
According to the Office for National Statistics some 104 people named Yould lived in England & Wales in 2002, together with 670 Youd, 227 Youde and 11 Eaude.
The Yould surname has spread to many parts of the British Isles and through emigration also to USA and Canada.
Key emigrants of interest to family historians are:William Yould (born 1820 Acton) 1855 to Nova Scotia
Fred Yould (born 1885 Frodsham) 1913 to Canada and USA