This unusual surname is of Norse-Viking and Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins. Recorded in the surname spellings of Haskar, Hasker, Hosker, Haskur and Osgar, it has a long and interesting history. The derivation is from the compound personal name 'Os-gar', with 'os' meaning god and 'gar', a spear, hence 'god-spear'. This was a typical 'name' of the period, being based upon religion, war, and ultimate glory, and not surprisingly 'Os' forms the prefix to many early Scandinavian and English personal names such as Osborn and Oslear. These names were also popular with the Norman invaders of England in 1066, and therefore were readily available for transposition into 12th century surnames. Probably the earliest recording of the name, but not as a surname occurs in the 1086 Domesday Book 1086 when Osgarus de Bedeford is so recorded. Early examples of church recordings, English church registers being introduced comprehensively from about the year 1580, include Anne, the daughter of Richard and Frances Hasker, who was christened at the church of St. Gregory by St. Pauls, on April 10th 1665, and William, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hasker, who was christened at St. Olave's, Southwark, London, on September 14th 1692. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Hosker, which was dated 1375, in the court rolls of Colchester, Essex, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377 - 1399. 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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