Recorded in the spellings of Boylan, Boyland and Boylund, this interesting surname is of either England or Irish origin. It has at least two possible sources. The first source is locational from a place called Boland in the county of Norfolk. This translates as "Boia's grove", and is derived from the pre 5th century Germanic personal name "Boio" of uncertain origin, and the Olde English or Norse words lund or lundr, meaning a grove or copse of trees. The placename was first recorded as "Boielund" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The second possible source is from the Gaelic name "O' Baoigheallain", of uncertain origin, however "gheall" means pledge. In the anglicised spelling the O' Boylan's were a sept from Oriel, which consisted of Counties Armagh and Monaghan and parts of South Down, Louth and Fermanagh. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving charters and registers include: the christening in Ireland of William, the son of Nicholas Boylan, on October 8th 1643 at St. Michan's church, Dublin, and the marriage in London of Philip Boylan and Elizabeth Archdeacon, on November 16th 1777 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Boylond, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Devonshire in the year 1273. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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