This surname BURKHARD was a occupational name 'the butcher' a seller of meat. The name was of French origin, and brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Gaufridus nepos Bocardi, who was documented in London. Other records of the name mention Burekardus de Burewelle, who appears in 1220 in County Suffolk, and Robert Bocard was recorded in 1227 in County Sussex. Edward le Boucher was mentioned in the year 1273 in the County of Somerset and Johannes Bowchier of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Burkett was recorded in County Suffolk in the year 1524, and Peter Barchard appears in 1702 in County Yorkshire. The French name of Bouchard is first recorded in Haute Savoie in the early 18th century. A certain Jean-Antoine Bouchard went from there to Pondicherry in India in 1757, and in about 1788 he or his son Maurice changed their family name to La Bouchardiere and the family became well established in British India. There does not seem to be any direct connection with either of the places called La Bouchardiere in Normandy. The name has many variant spellings which include Buchard, Burghard and Burkett. This name has numerous variant spellings and in fact was listed in the Domesday Book as Burghard, Burcard and Burchardus.
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