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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Pollard family come from? What is the English Pollard family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pollard family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pollard family history?

The notable Pollard family arose among the Cornish People, a race with a rich Celtic heritage and an indomitable fighting spirit who inhabited the southwest of England. While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. As the population of medieval Europe multiplied, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This is due to the greater influence of English bureaucracy and naming practices in Cornwall at the time that surnames first arose. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the popular religious given name, Paul. Pollard is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronymic surnames were formed by adopting the given name of an ancestor of the bearer, while others came from popular religious names, and from the names of secular heroes. However, this surname may have also been a nickname, taken from the Old English word poll, which means head, and the suffix -ard, which referred to something big.

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Pollard, Pollarde, Poullard, Pawlarde and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pollard research. Another 189 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1603, 1666, 1640, 1667, 1616, 1701, 1681 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Pollard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 179 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pollard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pollard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 35 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Pollard:

Pollard Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Anne Pollard settled with her husband John in Salem in 1630
  • Thomas Pollard, aged 23, arrived in St Christopher in 1633
  • John Pollard, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • John Pollard settled in Virginia in 1642
  • William Pollard settled in Virginia in 1644


Pollard Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Sarah Pollard, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Jonathan Pollard, who arrived in America in 1765

Pollard Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • H Pollard, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • B Pollard, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855
  • Joseph Pollard, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866

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  • George Pollard (1920-2008), American portrait painter
  • John Garland Pollard (1871-1937), American politician, governor of Virginia (1930-1934)
  • Harry A. Pollard (1879-1934), American silent film actor, director, and screenwriter
  • Michael J. Pollard (b. 1939), American actor
  • Carl Jesse Pollard (b. 1947), American Professor of Linguistics at Ohio State University
  • Scot L. Pollard (b. 1975), American professional (NBA) basketball player
  • Albert Frederick Pollard (1869-1948), English historian
  • Ernest C. Pollard (1906-1997), English (Chinese born) Atomic physicist and biophysicist
  • Alfred Oliver Pollard (1893-1960), English soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Kerry Patrick Pollard (b. 1944), English politician, member the U.K. Parliament

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  • Colonel John Pollard and Juliet Jeffries by Elizabeth Pollard Cox Johnson.
  • Rudd-Pollard-Youngblood and Related Families by Margaret Rudd Youngblood.
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  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Pollard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pollard Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 May 2014 at 06:46.

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