Recorded as Gatland and Gateland, this is an English surname. It is habitational, and derives from the Anglo-Saxon pre 9th century words "geat", meaning "gate" and "land", land. Literally, the name implies one who resided at a fenced enclosure, with geat referring to the whole area, not a "gate" in modern parlance. In pre Norman times such fencing was rare and therefore the "geat-land" would probably have been a prominent feature. It is also possible that the name described one who lived at "the Goat lands", as in Gatwick, which appropriatley means the goat farm, or Gattcombe, the valley of the wild goats. Early recordings of the name include: Ralph atte Gatelond, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of 1332 for the county of Sussex, whilst later, on September 21st 1561, Tom Gatland married Jone Newman at Ardingley; and on January 26th 1595, Thomas Gateland married Agnis Sotherden, at Heathfield, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gatelond, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Land Rolls for Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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