- This interesting name has two possible origins. Firstly, it may have been a nickname for a person with a close-cropped head, from the Middle English word "poll" meaning "the head" plus the intensive suffix "-ard". The term pollard, denoting an animal that has had its horns lopped, is not recorded until the 16th Century. Hence, a more likely source for the name is the medieval personal name "Polhard", a derivative of "Paul", which seems to have been pronounced "Poll" by the end of the 12th Century, plus the element "-hard", strong, brave. It is interesting to note that one Pollardus Forestarius appears in the 1207 Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire, and in 1275, one Stephanus filius (son of) Pollard is recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Kent. The surname first appears in the late 12th Century (see below). Interesting namebearers, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", include: Sir John Pollard (died 1557), speaker of the House of Commons from 1553 - 1555, and Sir Hugh Pollard (died 1666), a royalist employed in Devon and Cornwall in the civil war, later becoming governor of Guernsey and comptroller of Charles 11's household. Eleven Coats of Arms were granted to Pollard families living in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, and York, as well as County Westmeath (Ireland). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Pollard, which was dated 1181, in the "Pipe Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.