This Anglo-Scottish residential surname is recorded as Langland, Langlands, Longland and Longlands. It is of Anglo-Saxon pre 8th century origins. It derives from the words "lang" meaning "long", plus "land", which in this context is an area cleared for agricultural use. The surname was given originally either as a topographical name to a person resident by a long piece of agricultural land, or as a locational name for someone from the barony of Langland in Peeblesshire. The surname was first recorded in England towards the end of the 13th Century, (see below), and early recordings include Ralph atte Longelonde, in the 1332 "Subsidy Rolls of Surrey", and Hugh de Langelonde, in the Somerset rolls of the year 1340. Johannes de Langland, the first Scottish namebearer held a charter of the lands of Milsallytoun and Ochtirheuyd in 1364, whilst Charles Langlands was the vicar of Dryvisdall in 1531, and James Langlands was noted in "The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland", in 1576. He was ordered to pay twenty marks as surety for Will Robson, although why he should have given this guarantee is not known. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Longelond, which was dated 1296, in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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