This interesting surname of Scottish origin with variant spellings Billsland, Bilsland, Bellsland, Belliland, etc., is a locational name from Bellsland (Kilmaur), or Bellsland (Riccarton) in Ayrshire, deriving from the personal name "Bille" plus the old English pre 7th Century, Old Norse "land" meaning "land", hence "Bill's land". The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Jonet Bilsland who married John Grant in Edinburgh on November 25th 1573. William Bilsland married Hannah Whitehouse at St.Anne's, Soho, Westminster on June 28th 1804, their daughter Hannah was christened on March 9th 1806 and their daughter Ann was christened on April 10th 1808 both at St. Anne's, Soho, Westminster. Agness, daughter of Thomas and Matilda, was christened on October 27th 1861 at St. James, Doncaster, Yorkshire. Glasgow had a Lord Provost named Bilsland in the mid 1900's. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Bellisland, tenant in lands of Drumguhassill near Drymen, which was dated 1593, "Register of the Privy Council of Scotland", during the reign of King James V1 (of Great Britain), 1567 - 1625. 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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