This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Strickland in Westmorland. The placename was recorded as "Stercaland" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and derives from the Old English pre 7th century "styr(i)c, steorc", bullock, with "land", land, pasture; hence "pasture for bullocks". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th century (see below), and can also be found as Strickland and Stryckland. William de Strikeland is noted in the Westmorland Death Register (1278) and Walter Stryland was witness in the Assize Court Rolls of London (1442). On December 15th 1733, the marriage of John Sterland and Anne Silcock took place at St. Mary in the Marsh, Norwich, and the christening of William, son of Robert and Ann Stirland, took place on March 23rd 1779 at St. John's Lancaster. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a black shield with three silver escallops and a silver engrailed border, the Crest being a bundle of green holly, fructed red, banded round the middle with a black and silver wreath. The Motto "A la volonte de Dieu", translates as "At the will of God". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vchtred de Stirclanda which was dated 1193, in the "Poll Tax Records of Westmorland", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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