This interesting surname, found recorded mainly in Scotland and Northern England, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either locational 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 the moor-land", deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mor" meaning "marsh, fen, moor", and "land", land. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century (see below), and further recordings include: Henry atte Morlonde in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, and Willam de Moreland in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include, Morland, Moreland and Morlande. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Annes Morland and Thomas Atkinson on October 16th 1558, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the marriage of Annis Morland and Willam Wood at Christchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate, on June 6th 1560. Eliza Moreland, aged 25 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Belfast aboard the "Pontiac" bound for New York in May 1846. The family had over nine Coats of Arms granted to them; the one usually associated with the name is a black shield with a gold leopard's face jessant-de-lis, the Crest being a lions head between two silver wings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edith de la Morland, which was dated 1357, in the "Studies on Middle English Local Surnames", Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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