This interesting surname may be of early medieval French origin. If so it is an example of that sizable group of early European surnames that were created from the habitual use of nicknames. It is said to derive from Hasard, a nickname given to a gambler or to a brave man who was prepared to run risks. The derivation is from the game of chance of the same name, that was originally derived from the Arabic "az-zahr", meaning he who is to die! It would appear that hasard was brought to Europe by the Knight Templars of the12th century bter known as the crusaders. Spellings include Hazzard, Hassard, Assard, Hazard, Hasard, Hazart, Hassatt, Hassett, Hissett and possibly others. Hassatt, Hassett and Hissett may have a second origin. This is Old English pre 7th century word "hals", meaning a neck, and given to a person with some peculiarity of the neck. Among the early recordings in London is the christening of Abygaell Blever Hassett on July 11th 1580 at St. Lukes, Chelsea, and the marriage of John Hissett and Sarah Godfrey on October 12th 1675 at St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Hasard. This was dated 1170, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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