Recorded as Borchard, Borchardt, Borchert, Borchart, Borchard and probably others, this is a medieval German surname. It was originally a personal name of the pre 6th century, and translates literally as "strong castle." As such it was one of a large group of Germanic compound given names of that period of history known as "The Dark Ages." This was roughly from the collapse of the Roman Empire in 412 a.d. until the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. In this six hundred year time segment, there was little government and law in Europe, and the tribes of Scandanavia (The Vikings) and of Northern Germany (The Anglo-Saxons) in particular, although also the Moors from North Africa, took the opportunity to divide up the spoils left by the Romans.As usual it was the innocents who suffered, and in their suffering they looked for a period of peace and stability. In their search, one of the ways of spreading the word, was to call their children by names which described their aims, and this is a good example. However many of these "control" names were lost from about the 11th century following the famous Crusades to free the Holy Land. This was an early NATO type exercise where knights joined together from all parts of Europe to form a national army. Although all twelves crusades failed, the religious fervour that ensued lead to the introduction of biblical or what were misleadingly called "Christian" names, on a wholesale basis throughout Europe. In this case early surname recordings from German charters include Jakob Borchart of Frankfurt in 1471, and Drewes Borchard of Stolp in 1548.
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