Recorded in many spelling forms including Pickard (England), Picard, Piccard, Piquard, and Picart (France), Picardi, Picardo and Piccardo, (Italy), Pikard and Pikhardt (Germany), this is a surname of two possible origins, both French. It can be locational and refer to someone from the region of Picardy in Northern France, or it can be derived from a French personal name compounded of the elements "Pic -hard" with the strange translation of "sharp and hardy", From this form developed the variant surname of Pitcher. A form of the name was recorded in England as early as the 12th Century, when Paganus Pichardi appears in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Hampshire in 1160. Other later recordings include John Pikart in the Huntingdonshire Hundred Rolls for 1279, whilst in the church records of Yorkshire Agneta Pickard married Edwardus Bruce at Farnham, on November 5th 1577. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of William Pichard, which was dated 1169, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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