Recorded in over eighty different spellings throughout Europe, this surname is of pre 7th century Olde French origins. It originates from the word "baud" meaning "joyful", was given probably as a nickname for a "lusty and swaggering youth". There is some confusion with the German and Anglo-Saxon "Baldo", a personal name which means "bold". It can be argued that the meanings are essentially the same, and it is likely that in most countries of Europe it is not possible to isolate the precise origins.This type of name which typifies power or strength was very popular in the time after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century a.d., and the coming of the great Frankisk empire under Charlemagne in the 9th century. Herditary surnames were first established in England in the 12th century, and thereafter throughout the western world they gradually gained acceptance over the next seven centuries. The earliest examples of all such names were recorded in England and amongst the first examples are those of Henry Le Bolde in the county of Sussex in 1327, William Boulde of Yorkshire in 1428, and in Germany Franz Baude of Drachenburg in 1636. The first known recording of the surname in any spelling anywhere in the world, is believed to be that of Simon le Baud, in the rolls of the county of Northampton, England in the year 1219. This was during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272.
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