Recorded in a number of spellings including Godhardt, Godhart, Godard, Gotthard, Gottert, Gothard (Germanic) and Godthaab, Gothaab (Scandanavian), this is a surname of ancient pre -medieval origins. It developed from the pre 7th century personal name 'Gott-hard' which has the literal translation of 'Hard god' or perhaps 'One God,' and was the name of the early saint Gothard. The prefix element as God, Good, Goth or Gott is used extensively throughout Europe, and the number of compounds so created is literally without measure.They include such examples as Gottfried, or in English Godfrey, translating as Gods peace, Gotkind meaning Gods child, and Gottreich, the kingdom of god. These early personal names and later surnames are survivals in most cases from a pagan past. After the famous crusades to the Holy Land in the 11th and 12th centuries, they were often replaced by the so-called Christian names, except in areas under German influence. In this case early examples of the recording taken from surviving Germanic registers include Andrea Gotthardt of Schweidnitz in 1548, and Georg Gottert of Kalerbach in 1816.
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