This Scottish surname is of uncertain origin, but probably derives from a Germanic name composed of the elements "loc", lock, bolt, fastening, with "hard", hardy, brave, strong. According to folk etymology, the surname was acquired when an ancestor conveyed the heart of James Lord Douglas back to Scotland in a locked casket after his death in the Holy Land; their arms accordingly show a heart clasped by a padlock. The surname is first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below). Malcolmi Locard confirmed the church of Symondeston with all its pertinents to Kelso in 1180, and Symon Locarde witnessed the grant of the church of Wicestun to Kelso (1247).Sir George Lockhart, President of the Court of Session, was murdered by Chiesley of Dalry in 1689. The Rosses of Balnagown, Ross-shire are really Lockharts by name. In some instances the surname may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and would be an occupational name for a herdsman in charge of the sheep or cattlefold. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "loc", enclosure, fold, with "hierde", herd, flock. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Uruay le Lockhert was noted as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Northumberland (1203). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Symon Locard, which was dated 1153, in the "Register of the Abbey of Kelso", during the reign of King Malcolm 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. 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.
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