The surname Beard found in Wales, England and Scotland is of nickname origin for somebody who was known for his distinctive beard. The name is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "beard", and it often appears in early records in a prepositional form, such as Thomas Onelabarbe ("Thomas with the beard", 1280, Somerset). Between the 12th and 16th Centuries it was usual for men to be clean shaven, so the wearer of a beard was conspicuous. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alsi Berd, which was dated 1086, in "Inquests of Ely", Cambridgeshire. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of John, son of Richard Beard, on April 4th 1578, at St. Mary Woolnoth; the marriage of William Beard and Johane Reve on January 23rd 1590, at St. Gregory by St. Paul's; and the marriage of George Beard and Isabell Deane on November 15th 1598, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney.
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