This interesting and unusual surname, with variant spellings Adlard, Allard, Ellert, Hallard etc., derives from the Anglo-Norman French personal name Alard, itself coming from the Old Germanic Adelard, composed of the Germanic elements "adal", noble, plus "hard", hardy, brave or strong. The Old English cognate names Aedelheard and Aelfheard were probably absorbed by the Anglo-Norman Alard. "Ailardus" and "Aelard" (without surnames) first appear in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Devonshire and Sussex respectively. One, Halardus de Weres was noted in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, dated 1150, and an Elard de Beisebi in the 1161 "Pipe Rolls and Lincolnshire". Richard Alard, recorded in the Gloucestershire Pipe Rolls of 1209, is the earliest bearer of the surname in the form Hallett, the diminutive suffix "ett" replaces the original "ard" from "hard". On September 26th 1591, Elizabeth Hallet and Gulielmus Spickenell were married in High Ham, Somerset, and on November 15th 1655 Joseph Hallatt married a Mary Skinner in St. Andrew's Plymouth, Devonshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Hallatt, (christening), which was dated April 10th 1580, at Holy Trinity the Less, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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