This interesting and unusual name is of English origin and is topographical for someone who lived on a high patch of ground, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century 'heg', and the Middle English development 'hegh' or 'hie', meaning high, and 'land', land. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1255 (see below): Wulford atte Heghelonde (1275, Hundred Rolls of Kent) and Thomas de Heyeland (1275, Hundred Rolls of Sussex) and in the modern idiom the variants include Hayland(s), Highland, Heyland and Hyland. Topographical names are some of the earliest names to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or manmade, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. In the sample records in London is the christening of one Isaack Hyland at Bull Lane Independant, Stepney, on August 24th 1667. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Haylaund, which was dated 1255, in the Assize Rolls of Somerset, 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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