Recorded in several spelling forms from the relatively popular Wishart and Wisker or Whisker, to more remote forms including Wishkar, Wiskar, Wesker, Whiscard, and Wysard, this is an English surname. It is however of pre 7th century Old Norse and later Norman French origins. In ancient times it was a personal name, becoming a surname from abouth the 12th century. It derives from the words 'viscr', meaning wise, which became 'wisc' in Norman French, with the addition of '(h)ard' meaning brave or bold.It appears first in England in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 where there are several entries including those of two landowners Wiscar and Wisgar, both of the county of Suffolk, and Wisgarus, a latinized spelling from the county of Essex. Later examples taken from surviving charter recordIngs include those of Nicholas Wiscard of in the Hundred Rolls of Shropshire in 1273, and Richard Wiscart of Sussex in 1327. Examples taken from surviving church registers include those of John Wishart, who married Elizabeth Farr, at Stepney in the city of London on February 11th 1703, and George Redpath who married Charlotte Whisker at St. Georges chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, on July 1st 1805. It is said that the name has been recorded in various forms in New York from the 18th century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Wiscard. This was dated 1162, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Surrey during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154-1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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