This is an Anglo-Saxon locational name with its origins in any of a number of minor places named from the Olde English pre 7th century "har", meaning "grey", or "hara" meaning "hare", plus "land" for "land" or "patch of country". Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor, to the local residents and especially to those who left their original homes and went to live or work in another village or town. On July 28th 1555, Alicia, daughter of Thomae Harland, was christened at Howden, Yorkshire, and the marriage of Johanne Harland to George Mallerye, took place on August 11th 1560, at Filey, Yorkshire. The Quaker brothers, George and Michael Harland, emigrated from County Durham via Ireland to America in the late 17th Century, where George became Governor of Delaware in 1695, while Michael went to Philadelphia. Their descendants dropped the "d" from the surname and one James Harlan (1820 - 1899) became a senator and secretary of the Interior. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Herland, which was dated 1221, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "the Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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