This unusual and interesting surname, with variant spelling Garthland, derives from the Middle English "garth", ultimately from the Olde Norse "garthr", translating variously as "enclosed ground used as a yard", "garden" or "paddock", plus the Olde English or Olde Norse "land" meaning "land", and was originally given either as a locational name to someone from Garthland near Kilbirnie, Renfrewshire, Scotland, or as a topographical name to one resident on a patch of enclosed ground. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. One, Willilmus del Garth was noted in the 1379, "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire". On March 25th 1692, Mary Gartland and John Foot were married in Gatcombe, Hampshire, and on July 2nd 1797, Mary Gartland married a Francis House at St. Luke's, Chelsea, London. The marriage of Bridget Gartland and Edward Holliwood took place in Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, on July 25th 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Gartland, (marriage to Joane Killicke), which was dated October 24th 1642, in Worth, Sussex, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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