Recorded in several spellings including Gullan, Gulland, Gullane, Gullam, Gullen, and probably others, this is apparently a surname of Scottish origins. It is locational from an old estate now called the village of Gullane in the parish of Dirleton, East Lothian. The famous author Robert Louis Stevenson referred to the village in his book Catriona, calling it "Gillan," whilst to add to the complication the local pronumciation is apparently "Goolan". The meaning is unclear, but probably owes something to the ancient 6th century word "gylde" meaning gold, and "land", which may have meant an island, although not necessarly one surrounded by water. The gold probably referred to wild marigold. Certainly like most surnames of locational origins, the first recording is at least nine centuries old. The first was probably William de Golin, whose seal appears on an early land charter of the abbey of Melrose in the year 1170, whilst William de Gulyne was a charter witness in the years 1212 - 1226. The spelling seems to have alternated bewteen Golin and Gulyne for several centuries Gulan, Gullan and the other forms, being first recorded from the 15th century.
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