This interesting name is of Flemish, Belgian origin, and was introduced into England at the end of the 17th Century by Flemish Huguenots, Protestant refugees fleeing religious persecution in Europe. There were two main periods of Huguenot emigration; the mid to late 16th Century and the end of the 17th Century, when Louis X1V revoked the Edict of Nantes. The surname is typical of many early European names, being of topographical origin, since natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easy and instant forms of distinguishing names. In this instance, 'Verlander' denotes 'the dweller by or on the pasture land'. Similar formations are 'Verdell', dweller in the valley, and 'Verbrugge', dweller at the bridge. The surname development has included Verlande (1686, Belgium), Verlunder (1736, London) and Virlander (1741, Essex). The marriage of Anna Verlander and John Wilbore was recorded at St. James's, Colchester, in Essex, on March 29th 1687. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Petrus Verlande (christening), which was dated November 21st 1658, The Dutch Church, Colchester, Essex, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, 'The Great Protector', the Commonwealth in England, 1649-1658. 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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