This interesting name is one of the variant spellings of the surname Galhard, which itself derives from either of two possible sources. Firstly, it may come from the Old French personal name "Gaillart", or the Old German "Gailhard", composed of the elements "gail", gay, joyous and "-hard", strong, brave. It could also be a nickname for a cheerful or high-spirited person, from the Old French "gaile", cheerful, and the intensive suffix, "-ard". The personal name itself is found as "Gaylordus" in the Patent Rolls of 1206. The surname dates from the early 13th Century (see below). John Galard was recorded in 1232 in the Fines Rolls during the reign of King John (1199 - 1216), while the Parliamentary Rolls of Essex mention a Sabina Geylard in 1295. Alexander Galyard is listed in the Register of the Freemen of York in 1426. Rebecca, daughter of William Gaylard was christened in July 1600 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London while one Charles Gaillard married Anne Ageron at St. James, Duke Place, London on July 8th, 1698. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Gaylord, which was dated 1125, in the "Close Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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