AKARDGrowing up, I was aware that I had an unusual surname. Indeed, there are very few of us today in the United States with the last name spelled as Akard.
First stop, at Ancestry.com, defines Akard as "Americanized spelling of German Eckhardt." Secondly, researching Eckhardt, I learn Eckhardt is derived from Eckert. At Eckert, I am able to locate a surname meaning published in the Dictionary of Family Names, Oxford Press.
"German: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements agi ‘edge’, ‘point’ + hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’."
To date, our family lineage begins with Jacob Akard. The story passed down through the generations is that Jacob, a young lad, stowed away on a ship bound for America from Germany. His origin in Germany remains elusive. Jacob Akard was to serve as a mason apprentice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Later, he fought in the Revolutionary War. His sons migrated into Carter County, Virginia and later the families dispersed to Arizona, California, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas. Some families pronounce their name with a strong emphasis on Ākard; others pronounce the surname as (Ăck)ard. Same clan, different sound.
The jury is still out on whether, I am related to the William Christopher Columbus Akard, whom the street in Dallas is named. His family migrated from Missouri to Texas and my family migrated from Tennessee to Texas. I do see a physical resemblance in the families. Time for a DNA test to confirm my theories.
"Apt as not," if you meet an Akard, they are related to my American family.