This is a semi-national descriptive nickname surname which referred originally to a native of the province of Zeeland in the Dutch Netherlands. The surname is recorded heraldically but for Flanders circa 1680, at that time a part of the Spanish Netherlands. The Coat of Arms being a Black Imperial Eagle displayed on a Gold Field and charged with a Wavy Fesse (sword belt) in Red and Silver. The original name holders were Huguenot refugees being recorded in many 'anglicized' forms e.g. Zelande or Zeelande.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Zelande, which was dated 1628, Witness at Threadneedle Street, Huguenot Church on February 3rd, during the reign of King Charles I, 'The Martyr', 1625 - 1649. 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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