The surname of ASSARD was derived from the Old French HASARD - meaning a game of dice, used of a gambler or one who was prepared to run risks. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward 11. ( 1307-1327 ) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention Hugo Hasard of the County of Hampshire in 1170. Gilbert Halsart appears in Hampshire in 1190, and Edward Hazzard was documented in County Lancashire in 1196.
Geoffrey Hasard of London was documented in the year 1285 and Haseud Sulny of the County of Somerset was recorded in the year 1273. Constance Hasarde was buried at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent in 1634.
Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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