This very interesting name has from its origins in pre 7th Century Britain actually meant what it describes. The derivation is from the ancient (Anglo-Saxon) "hlaf-weard" which translates literally as "loaf-keeper" but in fact refers to a time when the appointed chief had amongst his responsibilities that of ensuring that the village or tribe was properly fed. After the Norman invasion of 1066, the term was "annexed" by the monarch to help create the status of nobility and was not therefore part of surname formation. The modern nameholders derive either from the festival election of a "Lord of Misrule", a medieval custom which lasted several centuries, or from the appointment of a "Lord of the Harvest". This latter job combined all the skills of management in that the "Lord" was responsible for both employing his harvest workers and negotiating their wage rates. Another possibility is that the name is a form of nickname, either for one who worked for a "lord", or who adopted lordly manners. The name is one of the earliest into America: Thomas Lord and his family of five embarked from London to Virginia on April 29th 1635 in the ship "Elizabeth and Anne" of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Le Lauerd, which was dated 1198, in the "Pipe Rolls of Land Charters of Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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