This distinguished name is of Old Germanic origin, from a personal name introduced into Britain by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 in the Old French forms "Gerard, Gerart" and "Girart". These were adapted from the Old Germanic "Gerhard, Girhard", composed of the elements "geri, gari", spear, and "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The personal name was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Latinized forms "Gerardus" and "Girardus", and one Jerard "filius (son of) archidiaconi" is mentioned in the Lincolnshire Documents relating to the Danelaw of 1149 - 1162. The personal name proved very popular, as can be deduced from the great number and variety of variant forms that were generated from it, almost all of which are surviving as surnames. These range from Garrett, Garratt, Garred, Garrad, Jarratt and Jarad, to Garrard, Gerrard, Jarrard and Jerrard. One Edward Garrard was an early emigrant to the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "Ann and Elizabeth" in April 1635, bound for St. Christophers and the Barbadoes. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts two silver lions combatant on a blue shield, while the Crest is a wivern, tail nowed proper pierced through the neck with a gold spear, headed silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gerard, which was dated circa 1170, in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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