Recorded as Leward, Luard, Livard, and Lyard, and possibly other forms, this is an English surname. It appears to have 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". As such it is symbolic of an age when personal names, there were no surnames as we know them, often reflected strength, hope, and civil authority. This was at a time in history when there was precious little of any of them! If indeed it was of English origins, and the first recordings do appear to be Anglo-Saxon, 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 probably 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 the Luards of 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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