This name is apparently habitational from a place called in the old English "Waeter-lande" or similar, although no such place exists today. Waterbeach and Landbeach, the Lincolnshire villages have origins meaning much the same, that is - hamlets situated on land but close to the waterside. In Cumberland, there is a village called "Watendlath", this derives from the Norse-Viking "Vatn-endi" meaning "Lake-end" plus "hlava" meaning a barn and it is possible that the later "Waterland" could be a developed form. The "Border Country" generally has many "lost" village sites, although in fact the surname is most recorded in London and does not appear in Cumbria. a curious recording is that of Robert Watterland, of Fleet Street, London on December 14th 1638. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hary Waterland, which was dated August 28th 1596, a witness at St. Andrews' Church, Holborn, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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