This interesting and unusual name, recorded in church registers of Vale, Guernsey, from the mid 18th Century, is ultimately believed to derive from the Germanic "boumgarte", a compound of the old High German "boum", a tree, plus "garto", an enclosure or orchard, and was originally given as a topographical or occupational name to one who owned or lived by an orchard. Variant of the name Bogaerde, Bruges (Belgium) and Bogaerd (Amsterdam), are recorded heraldically in Riestap's "Armorial General". The Coat of Arms of the former is a gold shield divided by a blue chevron, and charged with three trees proper, two in chief and on in base. The form Bougourd originated in Bourgogne, (Burgundy), a former semi-independent duchy of East France whose monarchs ruled over the low countries and Franche-Comte (1384 - 1477). On January 14th 1759 Jean, son of Nicholas and Marie Bougourd, was christened in St. Michael, Vale, Guernsey, (the Channel Islands). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Bougourd, (christening), which was dated August 23rd 1752, Vale, Guernsey, during the reign of King George 11, "The last Warrior King", 1727 - 1760. 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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