Recorded in several spelling forms including Card, Carde, Cardo, Cardoe, Cardow, Cardew, Carder, and Curdoe, this is a medieval English surname. It is however of French-Flemish origins and occupational. Associated nwith the very earliest forms of the textile industry, it derives from the pre 10th century Old French word "carde" meaning a teasle, and in England is probably most associated with the famous Flemish Weavers. These people were brought to England in the 13th century by King Edward 1st (1272 - 1307), 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 Assize Register for the county of Cornwall in 1297, and later in 1332, that of 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. This was in the rolls of Salop in 1221, during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272.
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