This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the personal name "Burgheard", which is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century elements "burh" or "burg", meaning fort, fortress and "heard", hardy, brave, strong. This ancient name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Burchardus", "Burkart" and "Burchart". The Normans reintroduced the name into England after the Conquest of 1066 in the forms "Bou(r)chart" and "Bocard", from the popular Germanic medieval name "Burkhard". There are a great many variants of the modern surname, deriving from a combination of the Olde English and Olde French forms ranging from "Buckett to Burchard, Budgett and Bowkett". One Matthew Buckett of Dorset is recorded in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1591. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Bocard, which was dated 1207, The Suffolk Curia Rolls, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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