This name ECKEHARD was of the baptismal group of surnames meaning 'the son of Echard'. The name lasted for many centuries in County Norfolk, and still exists there. The name was originally of German origin, and brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. It meant one who was hardy, brave and strong. The name has many variant spellings which include Eckehard, Eckert, Einhart, and Einert. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
Early records of the name mention William Eckard, who was recorded in County Norfolk in 1185, and Adam Ecard appears in the year 1273 in County Norfolk. Thomas Einhart was documented in County Yorkshire in the year 1379. William Echard was rector of Cley in County Norfolk, in the year 1515. Later instances of the name mention Thomas Echarde and Elizabeth Tood who were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1544. John Eacharde, was the rector of Wrenigham, County Norfolk and was recorded in the year 1695. An eminent member of the name was Johannes Eckhart, called Meister Eckhart (1260-1327). He was the German mystic born in Hochheim, near Gotha. He entered the Dominican order, studied and taught in Paris and acted as prior of Erfut and as vicar for his order for Thuringia. In 1325 he was accused of heresy by the archbishop of Cologne, and two years after his death his writings were condemmed by Pope John XX11. Translation of Arms: Azure (blue) is associated with the church and represents Loyalty and Truth. The rose was a symbol of Beauty and Grace and Vert (green) means Hope and Joy.
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