This is a variation of the surname Gerard, itself one of the most popular medieval personal names, composed of the elements "geri" or "gari", spear and "hard" meaning hardy, brave or strong. The name was introduced into Britain by the Normans, and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the personal names "Gerardus" and "Girardus". In the modern idiom there are nearly thirty recorded derivatives of the personal name as surnames, ranging from Gerald to Jarrold, Garrard and Gerrard to Jarrard and Gerred and so on. One, William Gerard, witness, was noted int eh 1219 "assize Court Rolls of yorkshire". Among the several notable namebearers mentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography are Sir William Gerare, (deceased 1581), Lord Chancellor of Ireland, 1579, and Alexander Gerard (1792 - 1839), Himalayan explorer who ascended peaks hitherto unscaled and penetrated into Thibet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Gerard, which was dated 1199, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire", during the reign of Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart" 1189 - 1199. 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.