There are several possible origins for this name, which is a transposed spelling. The first is as a derivative from the Olde French pre 11th Century 'Hansard' - a word meaning a sword or cutlase and denoting a maker of such weapons as in William Haunsard, 1230, The Surrey Pipe Rolls with the 'k' being a dialectual intrusion of a type common in the Sussex/Kent area, the second is as a national location name which has been anglicized and means 'the man from the Hanseatic League' - the 17th Century (Polish) Trading Union. Other options include a variant of Hankin or Hanke. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert Hansard. which was dated 1170 The Abbey of Rievalaux, Yorkshire. during the reign of King Henry 11 The Builder 1154 - 1189. 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.