This interesting and unusual name is English but arguably of Norman-French origins. Recorded in many spelling forms including Izzard, Izatt, Izatson, Isatt, Isitt, and Izod, it derives either from the male personal name Ishard or the female Isolde, both composed of the Germanic elements "is", meaning ice, and "hild", a battle, or "hard", meaning hard or strong or from the Old French Provencal word "izar", meaning a mountain goat. This was presumably a nickname for a spring heeled person of great agility, or perhaps given the robust humour of the medieval period throughout Europe, the complete reverse!. The following examples taken from surviving English charters of the Middle Ages show some of the developments and their dates: Robert Isaud of York in 1316, Thomas Isoude of Essex in 1326, John Isot also of Yorkshire in the Poll tax registers of 1379 Yorkshire, and Robert Isitt of Leicester in 1763. Amongst the recordings in the city of London is that of Randolph Izod, the son of Anthonye and Anna Izod christened on March 27th 1664 at St. Gregory's by St. Pauls cahtedral. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Isolde, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls", Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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