This interesting surname has two possible sources. Firstly, it maybe of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a Scottish locational name from Clelland (formerly called Cleland or Kneland) near Motherwell, Lanarkshire; the first recorded namebearer (see below) was from this source. The placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th century "claeg", clay, with "land", land. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.The seal of Andrew Cleland, one of the bailies of Edinburgh (1612), reads "S'Andree Kneland". Secondly, the surname may be of Irish origin, as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Giolla Fhaolain", composed of the elements "Mac", son of, "Giolla", servant of, and "Faolan", a personal name representing a diminutive of "faol", wolf, hence "son of the servant of Faolan". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Clelland. On August 3rd 1602, Agnes Cleland married John Roger in Edinburgh, Midlothian; and John Cleland married Susanna Smith on March 27th 1750, at Saintfield, Co. Down, Ireland. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a blue shield with a silver hare saliant with a green hunting horn garnished red hanging about the neck, the Crest being a falcon standing on a sinister hand glove proper. The Motto "Non sibi" translates as "Not for himself". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Kneland, which was dated 1275, in the "Records of Scotland", during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. 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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