Recorded as Leward, Luard, Livard, and Lyard, and possibly other forms, this is an English surname. However it probably has at least two origins, and may be either Olde English or Huguenot French. If English it is truly ancient and derives from the pre 7th century personal name "Leofard" meaning, or at least translating as "beloved guardian", and symbolic of an age when personal names, there were no surnames as we know them. These early names often reflected strength, hope, and civil authority, at a time when there was precious little of any of them! If indeed it was of English origins, and the first recordings were survivers of the Anglo-Saxon past, then it is from a select group that survived the Norman Conquest of 1066. After this time it became politically correct to adopt French or later Biblical names, rather than anything associated with Olde English or Anglo-Saxon. Strangely though in this case the French influence is not Norman, but from much later when after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 thousands of protestants were forced to flee France, and many came to England. Amongst them was a Robert Luard from Caen, and from him it is said that those people so named particularly in the county of Essex, are descended. The French form derives from the personal name Lucas, meaning the man from Lucania, a former province of Italy. The first known recording of the surname in any form is believed to be that of Nicholas Lefward of Worcester in the year 1212, whilst Peter Loward is recorded in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Surrey in 1332.
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