This is one of the many variants of the personal names "Gerard" and "Gerald", introduced into Britain by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The name Gerard is composed of the Germanic elements 'geri, gari', spear and 'hard', hardy, brave, strong, while Gerald is composed of 'geri, gari', spear with 'wald', rule. There are more than twenty eight recorded surname derivatives of the personal names, ranging from Garrod to Jarrad and Jerrard, with Garet, Jerreatt and Gerratt. As personal names "Gerald" and "Gerard" are well recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and in documents thereafter, but they do not appear as surnames until the 13th Century. The surname development includes John Gerad (1230, Somerset), Peter Geraud (1250, Northants), Robert Garad (1540, Suffolk), Thomas Jarred (1540, Sussex) and Robert Jarratt (1597, Surrey). One Henry Jarrad was christened at St. Olave's, Silver Street, London, on June 15th 1641. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gerard, which was dated 1230, The Pipe Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, '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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