EZARD is the predominant form of the name, and it is strongly associated with the north of England. In the 1881 census, there were 212 EZARDs: Yorkshire (the old East, North and West Ridings and the Ainsty of York) accounted for 132, Lancashire for 31, Cheshire 18, and Northumberland and Co Durham a further 10. That is 90% in the north of England. There were nine nameholders in the old county of Middlesex, just over 4% of the total. There were very few in other counties; these may have been visitors on census night or servants working away from home. (Figures from The British 19th Century Surname Atlas, the Steve Archer CD.)
The variant EZART was confined to the north of England, with 36 people bearing the name in the 1881 census:
A further variant, EDZARD, was found solely in Middlesex:
Meanwhile, the form EZZARD, which seems to have arisen from spelling confusion (and is thus classed as a ‘deviant’) is found mainly in southern counties:
During the 20th and 21st centuries, the distribution of these names has become more diverse. This reflects changes in society brought about by ease of travel and greater educational opportunities. The Public Profiler for GB and World Names has guide figures for the distribution of these names in 1998, from the Electoral Register, which does not include those under voting age.
There were 216 people named EZARD on the Electoral Roll, which is a frequency of about five per million, i.e. that could mean about one or two EZARD households among every million people. The top area was Yorkshire.
There had to be a minimum of 100 nameholders to be on the database. Any instances of EDZARD, EZART, or EZZARD were too small to be considered. These 1998 figures are indicative only and must therefore be taken with caution.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics in 2002 may be more reliable. The database has almost 270,000 surnames then recorded in England, Wales, and the Isle of Man, shared by a population of 54.4 million:
EZARD: 263 (ranked 17,858 in the list of names)
EZART: 8 (ranked 167,220 in the list of names)
EZZARD: 81 (ranked 37,800 in the list of names).
There were no recorded instances of EDZARD.
Though there has been no dramatic change in EZARD figures since 1881, use of the name has grown overseas, which suggests that there has been a lot of migration. Australia shows an EZARD frequency of 13.82 per million, i.e. you are more than twice as likely to find an EZARD in Australia as in England. Within Australia, EZARD occurs most frequently in the state of Victoria and is most concentrated in the South Winmera area.
Canada also shows quite strongly for the EZARD name – the frequency is 8.52 per million, i.e. the name now occurs more frequently than in England. And within Canada, Ontario is the top place to find an EZARD.
The figures do not make EZARD a common surname. It is, though, now a name that is less uncommon in Australia and Canada than in England. For this reason, I am hoping to find research collaborators who are familiar with those jurisdictions and resources.
References: Public Profiler, for GB Names and World Names. The project is based at University College, London.
Surnames, England & Wales, National Statistics 2002. Please refer to Notes about the database on the Taliesin-Arlein website.
(See https://ezardthenameanditshistory.wordpress.com/websites-research/ for a clickable links.)