Blackard Family History Blog

Friday, June 24, 2005

Possible Origin of the Name Black+ard

The Blackard family was first recorded in what was once a Danish-controlled part of eastern England. The vast majority of family surnames there have typical Danish endings like -by and -ton. For example: Willoughby, Ownby.

I studied a list genealogical of 3696 unique surnames found in Lincolnshire. Of those, a little over 30 had -ard endings which is less than 1%, but not neglibible. Therefore, I think it is possible that the family name was derived as follows:


It did not appear that any of these names came from Old French, Gaelic or Welsh/Irish Gaelic so I did not consider those possible name origins.
These were the potential Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Danish or Norman words that resemble the word "black":
BLECCA - Anglo-Saxon given name; name of governor of Lincoln and founder of Grimsby
BLÆC- gen. m. n. blaces, f. blæcre; def. m. se blaca, f. n. blace: bleac; adj.
BLACK, swarthy; (Anglo-Saxon)
BLÆC- adj. Shining, pale, livid (Anglo-Saxon)
BLAC- adj. I. bright, shining;
BLEECKER/BLEEKER: Dutch. From Bleeker, a bleacher or whitener of linen. In Danish, bleger.
BLÆCAN - to bleach (Anglo-Saxon)

I found that the most-significant portion of the "ard" surnames were Anglo-Saxon in original and "ard" signified a protector, caretaker or guardian. A smaller group of -ard surnames were Germanic-Saxon in origin "ard" signified brave, bold or hard.

ANGLO-SAXON : ARD = guardian/caretaker
APPLEYARD = orchard + caretaker
DRAKARD : drake="dragon" or standard bearer".
EDWARDS = ead=prosperity + weard=guard.
FORWARD from Blleward = bull + guard
HOWARD = high or chief warden.
MILLWARD = appointed keeper of mill
SEWARD = one who kept the sea safe against pirates; a ward, a keeper
SHEPERD = sheep + caretaker
STEWARD = estate manager
STOTHARD : Old English stod = place to keep horses + hierde = herdsman
WOODWARD = a forest-keeper or officer

GERMANIC/SAXON : ARD = brave/bold/hard
BARNARD/BERNARD = bear + hard/bold/brave (Teut/Sax)
EVERARD - (Origin Saxon) Well reported, ever honored; or from Eberhardt, ever hard or enduring; or from Eber= a boar
GODDARD = God + hard/bold/brave; (origin: Ger.) God-like disposition. The name may be local, from Goddard, a mountain in Switzerland.
MAYNARD = powerful + hard/bold/brave

BLANCHARD - (French, English). "White," (Old French).
BULLARD = Having the disposition of a bull.
HANSARD - weapon maker or seller
HUBBARD = Hubert= bright-minded
IZZARD = Descendant of Isolde, meaning ice and battle.
LUARD = little wolf
POLLARD = pool + nearby dweller or bald man
REYNARD = pure + honest/incorrupt (reyn=Sax)(ard=Teut)
SINYARD/SYNYARD - Old English for singer

Principle Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Blecca of Lincoln - A Possible Origin of the Blackard Surname

The town of Grimsby, Lincolnshire where we first find the Blackard
family in 1560, has a legend that a man named BLEEKER founded the
town. It is a curious coincidence that the Blackard name was first
recorded in a town said to be founded by a man named Bleeker and
so I did more research on this name.

A researcher hired to research the Blackard family in the
Lincolnshire archives found no name like Bleeker, other than
Blackard in the surviving records. Historical resources indicate
that this BLEEKER of legend was a man named Blecca, who was the
governor of the Roman town of Lincoln. Blecca is a common
Anglo-Saxon name.

Unfortunately, before the earliest surviving church parish records
of 1560 in Lincolnshire, there seem to be only three authoritative
historical sources:

- Bede's Ecclesiastical History
- Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
- Domesday Book of 1086
- Tax Rolls of 1373

It is perhaps a stroke of luck for us that both Bede's
Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles actually
record the name BLECCA or BLEEK in Lindsey, perhaps confirming the
Grimsby town legend.

'This year [AD 627] was King Edwin baptised at Easter, with all his
people, by Paulinus, who also preached baptism in Lindsey, where
the first person who believed was a certain rich man, of the name
of Blecca [prefect of the city], with all his people.'
(from Bede's Ecclesiastical History)

Another source translates the original Latin as saying that Blecca
was living in 627AD when Paulinus made his ministry in Lincolnshire.

"Paulinus preached the word of God unto the Province of Lindsey,
and first of all converted unto the Lord the Governour or Provost
of Lincoln-city, whose name was Blecca, with his family. In which
very City he built also a Church of goodly stone-work, the roofe
wherof being either fallen for want of repaire, or cast downe by
the violent hand of enemies, the walles are eene standing to this
day" [ut inquit Beda II.xvi.]

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has this to say about Bleek:

"A.D. 627. This year was King Edwin baptized at Easter, with all
his people, by Paulinus, who also preached baptism in Lindsey,
where the first person who believed was a certain rich man, of
the name of BLEEK, with all his people. At this time Honorius
succeeded Boniface in the papacy, and sent hither to Paulinus the
pall; and Archbishop Justus having departed this life on the
tenth of November, Honorius was consecrated at Lincoln Archbishop
of Canterbury by Paulinus; and Pope Honorius sent him the pall.
And he sent an injunction to the Scots, that they should return
to the right celebration of Easter.

A.D. 627. This year, at Easter, Paulinus baptized Edwin king
of the North-humbrians, with his people; and earlier within the
same year, at Pentecost, he had baptized Eanfled, daughter of the
same king."

Samuel Lewis in his 1831 "Topographical Dictionary of England"
writes this about Lincolnshire:
"Christianity seems to have been first introduced into
Lincolnshire, soon after the conversion of that sovereign [Edwin
of Northumbria], by the Romish missionary, Paulinus. We are told
by Bede, that Paulinus, after converting the Northumbrians, came
into the northern part of the kingdom of Mercia; that he converted
Blecca, then Governor of Lincoln, and baptized many people of this
district in the river Trent. The see of Sidnacester, which is known
to have comprised the district or province of Lindsey, (although the
site of Sidnacester itself, which appears to have been somewhere in
that district, is a subject of controversy among antiquaries,) was
established in 678, and continued until the latter part of the
eleventh century, when St. Remigius, the nineteenth bishop,
transferred the see to Lincoln."

Fellow researcher, Charles Harris suggested this:"...from the
etymological information you provided recently, the "ard" ending
could mean "guardian of." So the name Blackard might come from
one of Blecca's personal guards. Under feudalism it might also
refer to a tenant who was obliged to protect the lord of the

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Charles Blackard II in Guilford NC in 1800

Charles Blackard II, presumed son of Charles Blackard I, was recorded as "Charles Blachard" on the second U.S. Census of 1800 in Guilford County, North Carolina. He also witnessed a deed there in 1798, immediately after relocating from Wake County, NC.

After doing the following research, I am fairly certain that in 1798-1800 Charles Blackard was living in what is now Greensboro, Guilford County, NC.

Guilford County Genealogy Library
Greensboro Public Library
Abstracts and Deeds of Guilford County NC Books 3-6
Guilford County Deed Book 6, pg523
2614 May 29,1798 Nathan Dillon (Guilford Co) to Charles McDormand (same) to George Rael(Rayl?) (same) for L10 sold 20ac on southeast side of Moons Creek; border; begins at a hickory at said Blairs ofsit corner on a hill side near the fork of the branch and joins James Leper; being a small ofsit on south side of Thomas Blairs entry he made on Isaac Coulson improvement which joint Eaven Jones old entry on a branch where Richard Wallis formerly Nathan Dillon.
Witn. CHARLES BLACKARD, Elizabeth Dillon and Ludia Dillon; Aug 1798

I found some connections between Nathan Dillon and some men near Charles Blackard in 1800. Some of them were Pennsylvania Quakers, but Bell was also from Caswell and belonged to Buffalo Presbyterian Church which is still in northern Greensboro. Armfield was a Methodist and his is the oldest marked grave in Oak Ridge cemetery in northern Greensboro.

William Armfield Sr. was on the committee that gave Greensboro, Guilford County, NC its name in honor of the revolutionary war General Nathanael Green, who was at times the commander of Willoughby Blackard.
William Armfield married Lydia Julian Field whose family my hometown of Julian, Guilford Co, NC was named.

A Francis Bell was recorded on the 1759 Rowan tax list with Thomas Blackett whom I suspect could have been a Blackard. Guilford was carved out of Rowan and Orange Co NC. Colo. Robert Bell, Francis Bell's brother, was himself a rev war commander. This map indicates where the Bell property C4 was located map

Nathan Dillon married Sarah Colson [Isaac Coulson named on deed] and was removed from the Quaker church for marrying a non-Quaker.

Some of these men and associates appear to have been Regulators including William Armfield.

1800 Guilford County NC US Census: Charles Blachard - Head of household

1 male under 10 --- (b.1790-1800) probably Eli
2 males 10 to 16 ---(b.1774-1784) possibly Branch and Levi
1 male over 45 years --- (b.before 1755) Charles Blackard II

2 females under 10 --- (b.1790-1800) unknown (Julian?)
1 female 16 to 26 --- (b.1774-1784) unknown
1 female over 45 years --- (b.before 1755) Betty Henderson B.

The following census extracts of 1790,1800 and 1810 show that Bell and Armfield remained in the same general area.

1790 Guilford US Census
Bell, Francis (second page of enumeration)
Armfield, William (second page of enumeration)

1800 Guilford US Census
Bell, Francis pg.668
Blachard, Charles pg.668
Armfield, William pg.668
Dillon, Nathan pg.668

1810 Guilford US Census
Bell, Francis pg 996
Armfield, William pg 921
Armfield, William pg 938
Dillon, Nathan pg 986
Humphreys, H. pg 922
Humphrey, Henry pg 959
Self, Evell pg 987

In later years, some other names similar to Blackard were recorded in Guilford County.

Also in "Abstracts of the Marriage Bonds of Guilford County NC 1771-1840"
Thompson Vol 1
Rebacak Blanend m. Ebenezer Jester 10 Nov 1813, Nathan Chouch; wit: Robert Johnson

The following apprentice bond is especially interesting as Charles Blackard was probably the brother of a Job Blackard (1766-1799). The given name Job is not common in the Blanchard family so this may be a son of Charles Blackard. He may have named a son after his recently-deceased brother. This boy was born in 1803, shortly before Charles Blackard II relocated to Dickson County, Tennessee around 1805. If his wife died between 1803 and 1805, the child would most-likely have been placed in another home in the church, as was the custom of the time.

Guilford County NC Apprentice Bonds and Papers 1817-1870 - Jarrel
Apprentice: Job Blanchard, male orphan, age 18
Bonded to John Hopkins May Court 1821
Trade: ladder trade until age 21
Witn: John Howell, Jno Harner

Given that the William Armfield living near Charles Blackard in 1798-1800 was married to a Julian, and the Blackard's custom of using their friends surnames as their children's given name, this Julian Blankard could have been one of the younger daughters in the 1800 household.

Guilford County, NC Newspapers - The Patriot - 1830
May 5, 1830
Marriages: On the 8, inst., Beauford Benson, to Miss Julian Blankard.