This unusual and interesting surname derives from an Old French personal name "Adelard", composed of the Germanic elements "adal" meaning noble, plus "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The Anglo-Norman French form "Alard" has probably absorbed the Olde English pre 7th Century names "Aelfheard", "elf-brave", and "Aethelheard", "noble-brave". The personal name appears as "Ailardus, Aelard" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Elard" in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1161. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include Richard Alard (1209) in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire, and John Allard (1327) in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Allarde, Allart, Ellert, and Hallard. London Church Records list the christening of Richard, son of Richard and Elizabeth Ellard, on November 6th 1645 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the marriage of William Ellard to Hester Lawrence on February 14th 1685, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road. A Coat of Arms granted to an Ellard family is black, on a bend ermine three red human hearts. The Crest is on a torteaux a gold stag, standing on a green mount. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Aillard, which was dated 1205, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.