Recorded in several spelling forms including Card, Carde, and Carder, this is a medieval English occupational surname, and one concerned with the early textile industry. It derives from the Old French worde "carde" and is probably most associated with the famous Flemish Weavers who were brought to this country in the 13th century by King Edward 1st, to teach the skills of cloth making to the unskilled English. The word "carde" actually translates as "teasle head", introducing the possibility that given the robust humour of the Middle Ages, it may also have been used as a nickname surname. What is certain is that the surname has the honour to be amongst the very first of all recorded surnames, and was probably regarded of great importance at a time when early industry was begining to make its mark. Examples of the recordings from those ancient times preserved in the surviving authentic charters and rolls include Lawrence Carde in the 1297 Assize register for the county of Cornwall, and later in 1332, John le Carder of Yorkshire, was recorded in the Friary Rolls for the city of Wakefield. The first known example of the name recording is probably that of Arnald Carde, in the 1221 rolls of Salop (Shropshire). This was during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272.
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