This is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Burland in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of England in 1086. In this book it appears as 'Birland', a form which is occasionally found as the surname spelling. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Olde English 'burgh-landa', meaning literally 'the lands belonging to the borough'. As to which 'burgh' or 'borough' is referred to by the place name is not clear. It may have been itself, but could even have been York, the county capital. The county of Cheshire also has a Burland village of the same meaning, but there are no surname recordings to be found in Cheshire until the 18th century. This is much too late to have been a place of origination. The first recording in that county is believed to have occured when Elizabeth Burland married Joseph Royle at Knutsford, on January 10th of that year. The name in Yorkshire is much earlier and particularly well recorded in the area known as 'The ancient kingdom of Elmet'. This is an area east of York. Recordings from this area include: Thomas Burland of Aberford on September 20th 1542, William Burland of Monk Fryston on January 29th 1612 and Alice Burland, who married Richard Kent at Barwick in Elmet, on December 10th 1655.
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