This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is topographical for someone who lived on a patch of high ground. The derivation is from the Old English 'heg', or 'heah', with the Middle English development 'hegh', high with 'land', land. In the modern idiom the variants, Hyland and Hylands, have developed from the following examples: Wulford atte Highelonde (1275, Hundred Rolls of Kent) and Thomas de Heyeland (1275, Sussex). Topographical names are some of the earliest names to be created as topographical features, both manmade and natural, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. Among the sample recordings in Scotland is the marriage of Maurice Highland and Elizabeth Courtney on July 17th 1869, at Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. 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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