This interesting surname is derived from the Gaelic "ceard", meaning a craftsman, an artist mechanic, and later a travelling tinker. In an ancient Irish manuscript, Cerdd is glossed by Latin "aerarius", which means "worker in brass". Many of the fine old Highland plaid brooches of brass, specimens of which are shown in the Scottish National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh, are believed to be the work of men of this class. Individuals bearing this surname are found on record as early as the 13th Century. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In 1343, payment was made to Robert Kerd for four horseshoes for the king, David 11, and for material for his jousting spear. Recordings from Scottish Church Registers include: the marriage of Mary Caird and Patrick Gordon, on September 7th 1781, in Edinburgh Parish Church, Edinburgh, Midlothian, the marriage of Ann Caird and Thomas Young on October 22nd 1801, in the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilfolan Kerd, which was dated 1275, in a "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. 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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