Recorded in many spellings including Rollason, Rollison, Rollinson, Rollingson, Rollerson, Rowlandson, Rowlerson, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is a patronymic from either of two personal names. The first and most likely being from Rollo, a Latinized form of the Norman Roul, and equivalent to the medieval English Rolf. The ultimate origin lies in the Germanic "Hrolf", a compound of the elements "hrod" meaning renown, with "wulf", a wolf. This name was especially popular among Nordic peoples and seems to have reached England through mainly Norman influence after the Conquest of England in 1066. The second possible origin is also a patronymic from Rowland. This is a Gallic-Norman personal name composed again of the element "hrod", but with the suffix "land", meaning in this case territory. This was very popular in Europe during the Middle Ages as a result of the fame of Charlemagne's warrior of the same name. The Northern English Rollinsons, claim to have acquired their surname from this source. Random examples of the recordings include John Rollingson in the Lancashire Wills record for the year 1596, whilst Stephen Rollosson married Christain Morrison at St. Dunstan in the East, Stepney, on September 8th 1713. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Roulandson, which was dated 1332,in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Cumberland. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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