This very interesting surname recorded in the spellings of Hard and Harde, and the patronymics Hardes, Hards, Hardison, Hardstone, and Hardson, is of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It derives from the ancient word "heard" meaning hardy, brave, or strong, and as such it was baptismal, and possibly given at birth to the son of a warrior or soldier. Later in the medieval period from the 10th century onwards, it was also a nickname, supposedly for a stern or severe person, but probably given the robust "chaucerian" humour of the time, the complete reverse! In a few cases the original name would have been topographical or locational for someone who lived on hard ground, that is to say an area difficult to farm, or from a place called Hardres, near Canterbury in the county of Kent. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic rolls, charters, and registers of the period include Roger Hard in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of the county of Lincolnshire, Jone Hardsonge, who married William Billinge on April 27th at the church of St Lawrence Jewry, London, Robert Hardson, christened at St Augustines, Watling Street,, on August 31st 1595, and Robert Hardison, christened at St Saviours church, Southwark, London, on March 3rd 1782.The first recorded spelling of the surname is believed to be that of Gilbert del Hard, which was dated 1232, in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls. This was during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272.
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