Recorded as Malsard, Malzard, Malzeard, Malzred, Malser, and possibly others, this is an English surname, but one probably of French origins. It is locational from Kirkby Malzeard, a village in Yorkshire to the west of the small city of Ripon. The place name means 'The church belonging to Malzeard', a reference it is thought to a Norman-French family, probably from Mallissard, a village in Northern France, who held lands in the area in the 12th century. Certainly the surname in Yorkshire is very rare indeed, the only known example in surviving church registers being that on May 4th 1741, of the strangely, if almost correctly named Kirby Malzred, who married Jane Fleming at the parish church of Well, a village some ten miles from Kirkby Malzeard itself. This is the only example that we are aware of in over 100,000 researches, where a person has apparently been literally named after a place. However we suspect that the vicar whose own grasp on spelling may have been limited, and knowing that the subject almost certainly could not read or write, took the line of least resistance. In any case locational surnames are notorious for providing 'variant' spellings, some as in this case far removed from the origin. The further a name travelled the more it became corrupted. This name for instance is well recorded in the city of London, but as Malsar, Malser or even it is suggested, as Maylard!
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