The surname of BALLARD was a nickname for one who lacked hair, the hair, or absence of it, gave us a large number of early nicknames the majority of which still exist as surnames. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Alured Balard of the County of Essex in 1273. Thomas Ballard of the County of Suffolk was documented in the year 1272-1307. Ralph Ballard of the County of Oxfordshire, was registered at Oxford University in 1615. Other members of the name include John Ballard (d.1586) a Jesuit who was executed for his connection with Babington's conspiracy. A later instance of the name is James Graham Ballard (1930-) who is a British fiction writer, born in Shanghai, China, and educated at Cambridge. His works include Vermilion Sands (1973) and, in 1984, Empire of the Sun. He won the Guardian Fiction prize in 1984 and, in 1985, the James Tait Black Memorial prize.
The associated arms are recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General.
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