This rare and interesting name is an occupational surname derived from the Old French "trenchier", to cut, with the additional grammatical element "-ard". The French "trenchier" was to give rise to a series of related words involving the knife with which meat was carved, or the plate on which meat was served. The surname had emerged in England by the latter end of the 11th Century (see below). In the Pipe Rolls for Hampshire (1166) one Robert Trenchart is recorded in another variant on the name. In the London church registers, Mary Trenchard is noted as having married John Southby on December 26th 1676, at St. Martin Vintry. Another London marriage was that of Christopher Trenchard to Elizabeth Cardrow on December 1st 1690, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf. A famous Trenchard was Sir John Trenchard (1640-1695), Secretary for State and M.P. for Taunton in 1679 and 1681. A second John Trenchard was a political writer who lived 1662-1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Trencart, which was dated 1086, Domesday Book Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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