This interesting surname can have two possible origins both French. It can be locational and refer to someone from Picardy (Picardie) in Northern France and Normandy or else be derived from a French personal name compounded of "Pic" and -"hard" composed by analogy with Richard, in which form it was to give rise to the variant surname Pitcher. A form of the personal name Pickard is found in England as early as the 12th Century as Paganus filius (son of) Pichardi from the "Pipe Rolls from Hampshire" (1160). The surname has also emerged in records by this time (see below); a John Pikart was recorded in the Huntingdonshire Hundred Rolls (1279). In church records for Yorkshire one Agneta Pickard is noted as marrying Edwardus Bruce at Farnham on November 5th 1577. A later marriage was that of Bridget Pickard to John Grenup at Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, York on May 9th 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Pichard, which was dated 1169, in the "Pipe Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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