This very interesting surname is an intensive form of the original Saxon pre 10th Century "Schel", and is a nickname for an extremely wild and noisy person! The name is not apparently recorded in England before the 16th Century (see below) but appears heraldically in Luxembourg, Silesia and Flanders in its original spelling of Schellart. Clearly the name was considered complimentary in its origins, and no bar whatsoever to the granting of Coats of Arms! It is possible that in a few instances the name could be job-descriptive, as in "Shellaker" for one who used "shells" in his work. The name has long been recorded in England, the variant forms being Shelord, Shelluard and Shellard. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the christening of Richard Shellard on November 17th 1605, at Broadwell, Gloucestershire; the marriage of Edward Shellard and Prudence Davis on September 10th 1622, at Tormarton, Gloucestershire; and the christening of Mary Shelord on January 3rd 1636, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Shellard, which was dated January 26th 1539, witness at the christening of his son, Thomas, at Broadwell, Gloucestershire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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