This very rare and unusual surname is recorded through history in a number of spellings including Lawlan, Lawland, Lawling, and Lawlance. The first of the known recordings is that of William Lawling or Lawlings, who married Sarah Richardson at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 16th 1698. However this is rather late for the development of an English surname, which suggests that the spelling is probably corrupted from something else. The make up of the name indicates that it is of locational origin, although the only surviving village whose name bears any resemblance to the surname spelling, is a place called Lawkland, near the town of Selby, in Yorkshire. It is possible that it originates from this source. Perhaps more likely is that as over five thousand British and Irish surnames are known to originate from now "lost" medieval villages, this is one of them. The memory of these places in the 20th century, is the survival of the surname, often as with this one, in a number of different spellings. The name probably means "The land on the hill" from the pre 7th century Olde English "hlaw-landa". Other examples of the surname recording are those of Richard Lawland, whose daughter Sarah was christened at the church of St Andrews Holborn, on May 26th 1721, and a century later Frederick Lawlan and his wife Cecillia, whose daughter Agnes was christened at the church of St James Paddington, both in the city of London.
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