Surname Williard - Meaning and Origin
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Williard: What does the surname Williard mean?
Williard is an English surname that originated from the Norman name Wiguired. The name is composed of two elements; 'wig' which means battle and 'hard' which means brave or strong. This suggests the original bearers of the name were valiant warriors.
The name Williard is found in records as early as 1293 when it appeared in the records of the Abbey of Ely for a man called Wylgardus. In the Hundred Rolls, a census in 1273, it appeared as Wilard, Wilardus, and Willard.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, it was more common to find appearing as Willesiard or Wilisiard. Over time, the name devolved to Wilards, Willards, and Willardson, before finally becoming the modern Williard.
The name is primarily found in the southern English counties, however, it is known across England and beyond. Today there are many different spellings of the name including Willett, Willit, Willet, Willit, Willhole, and Willhord.
Williard was often used as a nickname, as it was believed to describe someone who was strong and brave; a quality many people strive to obtain. It is also believed that the nickname may be derived from a French personal name; William.
Due to the many variations of the surname, it can be difficult to determine the exact origin of a particular Williard. What is certain, however, is that it originally represents a valiant warrior and is a name with great historical significance.
Williard: Where does the name Williard come from?
The name Williard is still quite common today, particularly in certain countries and regions of the world. It is particularly common in the United States, where it tends to be most popular in the south. It is also common in England, France and Ireland. The name is most often seen as a surname, but is occasionally used as a given name as well. Records from the US Social Security Administration in 2020 have shown that the name Williard is more popular than in previous decades.
In the United States, the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma have had some of the highest concentrations of the name. This is likely due to the fact that Williard is considered to be an old-fashioned or noble-sounding name, and the states mentioned have long had heritage and aristocratic leanings. It is less common in other states like California, New York, and Washington, though still present.
Within the British Isles, it is most common in Scotland, where it came to the Isle of Skye with English settlers in the 18th century and is thought to be derived from the Old English personal name Wigheard. It is also found in England and Ireland with an even mix of English and Scottish heritage.
In other countries, the surname is not as common as in other regions, but still present. The name Williard was even recorded in the 19th century Spanish and Croat fleets, likely taking with the sailors who migrated to foreign shores.
Overall, the name Williard is still considered to be quite common today, with pockets of higher concentration in certain countries and regions.
Variations of the surname Williard
The surname Williard has several variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. These include Williard, Williarde, Wyllyard, Willyart, Williardt, Williardes, Willyar, Wilyard, Wilyarde, Wylyard, Wylyarde, Wielyard, Wielyarde, Wilard, Wilarde, Wilar, Wilardes,Wilarde, Elward and Elwarde.
The origins of the surname Williard are largely unknown, with no particular knowledge of the exact country or area of origin. One possibility is that it is of Middle English origin, derived from the word ‘will’ meaning willow and is believed to have originated as a nickname for someone living or working near a willow tree. Another theory suggests the Olde English pre-seventh century Wielheard, which is composed of two elements: ‘weal’ meaning foreigner added to ‘heard’ meaning brave or hardy. Another potential origin is Anglo-Saxon in origin, derives from the Olde English personal name Wideheard which is a combination of the elements ‘wide’ meaning ‘wide’ or ‘spacious’ with ‘heard’ meaning ‘tough’ or ‘strong’.
It has been recorded in various documents such as the “Curia Regis Rolls of Wiltshire” in 1203, the “Fine Court Rolls of Norfolk” in 1207 as well as the “Assize Rolls of Bedfordshire” in 1263. Williard is also recorded in the “Feet of Fines” of Suffolk of 1265. Additionally, an early instance of the Williard family’s bearing is found in the Poll Tax Rolls of 1379-80.
Overall, the variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for the surname Williard are many and varied. They convey different origins and meanings, allowing for a vast assortment of family names which are closely connected from the same origin.
Famous people with the name Williard
- Ed Willard, Actor
- Brian Willard, Musician
- Mike Willard, Baseball Player
- Dennis Willard, Author
- Matt Willard, Comedian
- Marion Willard, Painter
- Mary Willard, Singer
- John Willard, Politician
- Carrie Willard, Actress
- Melanie Willard, Doctor
- Brad Willard, Sports Commentator
- Wendy Willard, Radio Host
- Chris Willard, Psychologist
- Emma Willard, Social Worker
- Ralph Willard, Philanthropist
- Lisa Willard, Chef
- Tom Willard, Military Officer
- Joel Willard, Priest
- Bob Willard, Astronomer
- Jack Willard, Musician