This interesting and unusual surname is a variant of Gossart, which is of Anglo-Saxon and French origin, and has two possible sources. The first source is from an occupational name for a keeper of geese, derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "goseherde", from the Old English pre 7th Century "gos", goose, and the Old English "hierde", herdsman, keeper, from "heord", herd, flock. The second source is a pejorative of Gosse, which is derived from the Old French given name "Gosse", representing the Germanic personal name "Gozzo", a short form of the various compound names with the first element "god", good on "god, got", god. The surname development since 1236 (see below) includes: John le Goshurde (1327, Sussex) and Thomas Gassard (1620, London). The modern surname can be found as Go(s)sart, Go(z)zard, Go(z)zett, Ga(z)zard and Ga(s)sard. Among the recordings in London are the marriages of Cornelius Gazzard and Mary Kingston on July 17th 1764 at St. Botolph's, Bishopgate, and of James Gazzard and Sarah Priddie on November 17th 1844 at St. Leonard's Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Goseherd, which was dated 1236, in the "Assize Rolls of Hampshire", 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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