Recorded as Colard, Collard and Collerd, this is an English medieval surname, but of French origins. It is derived from "Col", a short form of the personal name Nicholas, itself from the Greek "Nikolaos", meaning "conquer-people". To this has been added the French suffix "-ard", meaning a person. Introduced into England by the Norman Invaders of 1066, it was originally a personal name only with an example being Collard le Fauconer in the pipe rolls of the county of Essex in 1264, whilst the earliest surname recording is probably that of Richard Colard of Sussex in the year 1332. Later recordings taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: the marriage of John Collard and Jone Bankin on March 23rd 1559, at St. Mary's, Lewisham, and the christening of Christopher Collarde at St. Martins in the Fields, Westminster, on February 3rd 1594, whilst John Collerd was a witness at St Botolphs Bishopgate, on January 12th 1634. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the Dictionary of National Biography, was Frederick William Collard (1772 - 1860), a piano-forte manufacturer. A coat of arms granted to a family of the name has the blazon of Azure, three ladies heads in fesse between as many fleurs-de-lis, all gold. 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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