Recorded as Newland and Newlands, this in spite of its spelling, is an ancient Anglo-Scottish surname. It is generally considered to be of locational origin from the places called Newlands in at least six English counties ranging from Cornwall to Cumbria. The place in Worcestershire for example is recorded as "la Newelande" in the Assize Court Rolls of the county in 1221. However, the surname could be topographical and as such was in medieval times given to a person who lived by lands recently brought into cultivation, or added to a village. Both of these interpretations derive from the Olde English pre 7th century word "neowe", meaning new, and "land". Early examples of recordings include William atte Niwelond, in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327, whilst Geoffrey de Neuland is recorded in the Hundred rolls of landowners of Lincoln in 1273. The name is also found in Scotland, where it originates from the Barony of Newlands in Kincardine, and also from a parish in Peebleshire. Abraham Newlands (1730 - 1807) was chief cashier of the Bank of England, and bank notes were popularly known as "Abraham Newlands" from bearing his signature. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Samson de la Niwelande. This was dated 1188, in the Pipe Rolls of Kent, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. 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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