This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from an occupational name for a breeder or keeper of horses; the name has two possible sources. The first source is from the Old English pre 7th Century "stod", stud (farm), and the Old English "hierde", herdsman, keeper, from the Old English "heord", herd, flock. The second source is from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "stott", steer, bullock, from the Old English "stott", inferior kind of horse, and the Old English "hierde", as before. The surname development since 1195 (see below) includes the following: Geoffrey Stodhurd (1219, Northumberland), Richard le Stodehard (1332, Yorkshire), Thomas Stoderd (1481, Yorkshire) and John Stodard (1482, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Stoddart, Stoddard, Stod(h)art, Studart, Studdert and Stiddard. Among the recordings in London are the marriages of George Stoddard and Anne Sexton on November 14th 1559 at St. Dunstan-in-the-East, and of Edward Stoddard and Agnes Smith on October 7th 1577 at Tottenham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vlfus Stodhyrda, which was dated 1195, in the Pipe Rolls of Cumberland, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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