This interesting and unusual name is most probably a nickname for someone with reddish complexion of hair, from 'bay', reddish brown, whence 'bayard' a bay horse. 'As bold as is Bayard the blind' (i.e., a blind horse) Chaucer. Alternatively it may be a French locational name from Castle Bayard near Grenoble, France. Pierre Bayard the knight 'sans peur et sans peproche' was born there in 1476. Lastly it may derived from the Middle English 'bi yard', dweller by the enclosure. In St. Mary, Marylebone, London, one Alice Byard married Thomas Stredwick in 1678. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Byart, Biart and Byard. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Baiyard, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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