An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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. 
The surname Pollard was first found in Cornwall where one source claims "the barton of Trelleigh in Redruth, was 'the seat of that most ancient family or Pollard, from whence all of the of that name were descended.' "  We cannot verify that this is true, but it is important to note that the name was also scattered throughout Britain as in Pollardus Ostiarius who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1201 on Suffolk, Pollardus Forestarius in the Curia Regis Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1207, Stepahnus filius Pollard in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275 in Kent.  The various Pipe Rolls list: William Pollard in Surrey in 1181; Richard Pollard in Hertfordshire in 1192; and Richard Pollard in Lancashire in 1195. 
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.
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.
Another 179 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pollard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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.
Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Pollard:
Pollard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Pollard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Pollard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Pollard Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
Pollard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Pollard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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 5 May 2016 at 16:29.