Recorded in some forty spellings as show below, this is a surname of early French, but ultimately Germanic or Frankish 5th century origins. The first spelling was as 'Wighard' and from this early compound personal name with the literal meaning of 'war-hard' came the later surnames of Guichard, Guichardet, Guichardot (French), Weichard, Weichertt, Weickert, Weiger, Wiegard, Wiegardt, Wiggert (German) and many others. Surprisingly it does not seem to have entered the British Isles during thre Anglo-Saxon period of the 5th to the 8th centuries, or the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is not until the time of the Huguenot refugees in the 18th century that we find proven recordings. Throughout Europe this type of pre-Christian name was a rare survivor, because after the 12th century such names were often lost to the inrush of names of Greek, Hebrew, or biblical origins associated with the famous Crusades. In this case the surname is well recorded in France from medieval times, whilst the first recording in England may be that of John Francis Guichard who married Jane Fornet at St Pauls Westminster, on October 9th 1744.
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