According to my college German teacher back in the sixties(she was a native born German) Eckhardt is a medieval German word meaning "edge of the forest".
"Eck" meaning edge (modern meaning is corner) and "Hardt" being an archaic word for forest.
I once found a coat of arms for the name Eckhardt which had on it an ax and a plow--which is interesting in that both would be needed to farm on the edge of the forest.
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