This interesting surname with variant spellings Ballard, Bollaert, Bullard, Bouillard and Bolleart has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be from the old French "boule" meaning round or bare and with the suffix "ard" could be translated as "one who was bald headed". It could also derive from the middle English "bole" meaning fraud or deceit and would have originated as a nickname for "a deceitful person". The suffix "ard" is often used in surnames and refers to a person characterized by a certain quality. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century with another early name bearer being Henry Builard, witness, in 1198, Feet of Fines of Suffolk. One Geoffrey Bolhard is registered in Wiltshire (1275). On the 1st of January 1614 Mathewe Bollard, son of Thomas Bollard was christened in St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Ballard, which was dated 1196, The Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, "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.
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