Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It is locational from either Lydiard in the county of Wiltshire or Bishops Lydeard in the county of Somerset. The meaning of the name is unclear, although both places are situated by prominent hills, to which the name was no doubt originally applied, and it is possible that the second element according to the Oxford Dictionary of Place Names is from the Welsh "garth" meaning a hill, with the first element probably from the pre 6th century word "lyde" meaning a stream or river.Locational surnames are usually from names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move soemwhere else. Spelling being at best problematical and local dialects very thick, lead to the creation of "sounds like" spellings. In the modern idiom the surname is found with the spellings Lidiard, Lydiard, Lideard, Lyddyard, Lyddiard, Liddyard and possibly others. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include that on August 5th 1539 of William Lyddyard. He was christened at St. Andrew's Ogbourne, in the couynty of Wiltshire, whilst on May 25th 1663 Alice Liddiard, married John Newbury, at St. James Clerkenwell, in the city of London. 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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