Recorded as Ledgard, Leggard, Lidgard, and possibly others, this is regarded as an English surname. It is however of Anglo-Saxon and Old German pre 5th century origin, and derives from the personal name "Liudgard". It was composed of the elements "liut", meaning people or tribe, plus "gard", protection or perhaps defence. It was certainly a name as Leagrd that was born by the Normans, and hence brought with them at the time of the Conquest of England in 1066, but may well have been 'native' prior to that date. It was also found in the feminine form as "Liutgard", the name of Emperor Charlemagne's wife in the 9th century. The surname was first recorded in England in the late 13th century (see below), while the personal name appears as Leggard Joseph in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1327. One Hugh Leggard appears in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1275 and Thomas Ledgard was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, in the same year. Other recordings showing the spelling variations include those of William Lyggard in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379, Thomas Legarde, christened at Terling, Essex, in 1540, and Charles Lydgard, hristened at St. Peter and St. Pauls, Marlborough, Wiltshire, in 1771. A coat of arms granted to the family depicts a bend between six red mullets, pierced, a gold cross pattee on a silver shield, with the motto is "Per crucem ad stellas" (By the cross to heaven). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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