This unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is a peculiarly Devonshire surname. It is a good example of the dialectal variations in England that have created distinctive surnames from a common source. In this instance the surname is either topographical or locational, denoting residence by or near a smith's yard, or former residence in a now 'lost' place named with the same elements. The derivation is from the Old French 'ferreor', a worker in iron, smith, with the Old English pre 7th Century 'geard', fence, yard, enclosure.In the southern counties of England 'f' was invariably spoken and written as a 'v', producing a distinctive dialectal group of variant surnames such as 'veryard', also found as 'verryard'. John Veryard married Lettice Akerman at Branscombe in Devon on April 22nd 1583. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Veryard (christening), which was dated 20th April 1568, Axminster, Devon, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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