Recorded in many spellings including Izard, Izzard, Izatt, Izatson, Izod, (English), Isold, Isolde, Isolt (French) Isoldi, Isotti, Soldi (Italian) Eisold and Eisolt (German) Zold, Zolde, Zolt, (Hungary) and others, this is a surname of pre 6th century Germanic origins. It has two possible origins. The first and most likely is from the female personal name Isolde and much associated with the ancient fables of Tristran and Isolde. This name is composed of the unusual elements of "is", meaning ice, and "hild", a battle (ice-battle), or the masculine Ishard, with the elements "is", again meaning ice and "hard", hardy or strong to give Ice-hardy. The second possible origin is medieval and a nickname. If so this is from the Old Provencal word "izar", meaning a mountain goat, and given to someone who was a good climber, or was a sprightly, lively, person. The surname not surprisingly is one of the earliest recorded. Random examples showing the development include Robert Isaud of the county of Yorkshire in 1316, Niclas Eizold of Zittau in Germany in 1427 and John Isolt in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Later examples of church registers recordings include Randolph Izod christened on March 27th 1664 at St. Gregory by St. Paul, in the city of London, whilst in Hungary we have the recording of Joseff Zold and his wife the former Juliana Nagy, at Dunapentele, Fejer, on June 30th 1842. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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