Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It is either a locational name from any of the various places called Moreland, notably in the Borders region and in the former county of Kinross, or a topographical name for "a dweller on moor-land". This is from the pre 7th century Olde English "mor" meaning a marsh or fen, and "land". The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below), and other early recordings include Henry atte Morlonde in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296, and William de Moreland in the Tax Subsidy olls of Yorkshire in 1327. The surname spellings include Moreland, Morlande, Morlan, Morlen Morlin, Morling, Marlen, Merlin, and others. Recordings from surviving church registers of the city of London include Mathewe Moreland, christened at St. Stephen's Coleman Street, on September 23rd 1579, Anne Marlen who married Roger Thorpe at All Hallows, London Wall, on April 22nd 1622, Francis Morlon who married John Henley at St Brides Fleet Street, on December 31st 1655, and Thomas Marling, a witnessat St Botolphs without Bishopgate, on September 29th 1795. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Edith de la Morland. This was dated 1357, in the studies of Middle English Local Surnames, for the county of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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