This interesting name derives from an Olde German personal name Beinnhard, a compound of the elements "beinn" meaning "straight", plus "hard", brave or strong. The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the forms Baignard, Bangiard and Baniard. These three variant spellings are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Hertfordshire. The surname first appears at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below). One, William Banyard is recorded in "The Inquisitions and Assessments relating to Feudal Aids" (Suffolk, 1346).On December 14th 1684, Elizabeth Banyard, an infant, was christened in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster and on April 30th 1694, Dorothy Banyard and John Cranwell were married at St. James Duke's Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Baniard. which was dated 1207, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk. 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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