This is a topographical surname of considerable repute in 18th Century Germany. The name is believed to originate from the Hamburg region, and it describes a person who was resident on particularly good farm land. The derivation is from the medieval "liv", which translates literally as "good", plus the pre 7th Century "land", an area of ground. The name was originally recorded as "Livland(er), the variants Iffland(er) being localised dialectal derivations. The name achieved international fame through the actor Wilhelm Iffland, an associate of the philosopher-author-playwright, Johann Von Goethe, who died in 1832. A Coat of Arms was granted in 1772, being per fesse silver and blue, in chief a victory laurel, in base between two gold spear heads, surmounted by a crown and a fleur-de-lis, six cannon balls. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hedwige Iffland, which was dated May 2nd 1712, married at Buedesheim Roman Catholic Church, Rheinhessen to Paulus Frey, during the reign of Emperor Charles V1 of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1711 - 1740. 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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