This interesting surname, chiefly found in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is topographical from residence by an apple orchard. The derivation is from the Middle English "appleyard", itself coming from the pre 7th Century Olde English "oeppel" meaning "apple", plus "geard", an enclosure or orchard. Alternatively, Appleyard may be an Anglicized form of Applegarth, a place in the North Riding of Yorkshire, so called from the Northern Middle English "applegarth", from the Old Norse "apall", apple, plus "garthr", an orchard or enclosure. One William de Apelqart appears in Records of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, circa 1115, and a John del Apelyard in the Records of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire (1315). In 1379, Adam del Appilyerd was recorded in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. On December 27th 1590, Annas Appleyard, an infant, was christened in St. Peter's, Leeds, Yorkshire. Sir Mathew Appleyard (1606 - 1669), a royalist military commander, was knighted after the taking of Leicester. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elias del Apelyerd, which was dated 1275, in the "Records of the Manor of Wakefield", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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