The History of the name ROWLAND
Background of Rowland/Roland name: This name is not unusual, in all of Europe. In its different forms, it is present in almost, if not all countries of Europe. Its origin may not be unusual in many of its forms IE. Roland, common in France and England; Orlando, common in Italian areas; Rolando, common in Spanish/Portuguese areas; Rolland, common in German areas. This version is thought to have spread from the name of the famous Paladin/Knight of Charlemagne (Charles I) the first Holy Roman Emperor 800-814 AD, and King of the Franks. Roland/Orlando was famous for his strength, courage and chivalrous spirit as well as his famous horn. From the 9th century, a time before surnames, men begin to name their new born sons after famous men. The name Roland/Orlando/Rolando symbolized all the strength and heroic, gallant, fighting defender of the "faith" that a proud father could bestow on his son. It is certain that the Roland/Orlando version of the name entered England on, or shortly after 1066 AD, and the Norman conquest of England. I’m sure the proud Frank/Viking followers of William the Conqueror used the name commonly. It must be remembered that the Franks were not "French", as we now consider them. The Franks were a mixture of pre-Gallic and Germanic people, and the Normans were a mixture of Viking/ Scandinavian/ Danish people who, after invading and settling the
Normandy region of France, and adopting the French court language as their own, they then intermarried with the local Franks etc., before attacking and defeating the army of the Angle, Saxon, Briton, Celtic, Roman defenders of England. While I don’t claim to be a expert on names, I do feel that "Rowland", (the Rowland name spelling, most common in England) may be older than the Roland name of the Norman invaders. Its roots may be in old Germanic names like Rollander, Rulland, Reiland, Riland, Rohland, Rolant etc., or even rooted in ancient Celtic. Of course the name of Charlemagne’s famous Knight Roland/Orlando may also be of the same background, so, all things considered, the name may be the same anyway. Hope you enjoyed my rambling about the name. According to a company called "The Hall of Names" copyright 1984-89, (The Hall of Names Inc.) The following is a history of the Rowland name in Great Briton. Few areas in Briton have produced as many notable families in world history such as the names Armstrong, Nixon, Graham, Bell, Carson, Hume, Irving, Lock, and Rutherford of the Border region of England and Scotland. The family name Rowland is included in this group. Researchers have confirmed the first documented history of this name in lowland Scotland and northern England, tracing it through many ancient manuscripts, including private collections of historical and genealogical records, the Inquisito, the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, the Ragman Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, The Domesday Book, parish cartularies, baptismals, and tax rolls. The first record of the name Rowland was found in Ayrshire, where they were seated from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls, taken by early Kings of Scotland, to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects. Different spellings of the name were found in the archives researched, typically linking each alternate to the root source of the surname. The surname Rowland, occurred in many references, from time to time the surname was spelled Rolland, Roland, Rowland, Rowlands, Rowlandson, Rolan, Rollands, and the changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials recorded the name from its sound. The family name Rowland is believed to be descended, originally, from the Strathclyde Britons. This ancient founding race from the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts, whose ancient original territories tanged from Lancashire, in the south, northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland. Tracing its ancient development, the name Rowland was found in Ayrshire, where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity, who were descended from Gilbert, Lord of Galloway, originally of Fergus, who invaded Galloway in 1184. He was murdered by his brother Uchtred, whose son Roland possessed himself of all Galloway, supported by King Wiliam the Lyon of Scotland and King Henry of England. (Note: this usage of Roland is certainly related to the Norman conquest, and Norman names) Roland, Lord of Galloway, was made constable of Scotland in 1196. His son Alan married Margaret, daughter of King David of Scotland. Gilbert and John Rolland of Ayrshire rendered homage to King Edward of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. Maternally they became affiliated with the Farguarson Clan. They acquired the lands of Auchmithie and Craignytie. By the 16th century many of the family had moved south into England, into Shrewsbury, Sussex, where they held Saxonbury Lodge, and into Surrey. Notable amongst the family at that time was Rolland of Auchmithie. By whatever reason the name Rowland/Rolland because of the ascendency of the Norman conquerors, became interchangeable in England. I believe the Rowland spelling was kept by the older families to distinguish them from the Normans. In any event the problems numerous Kings of England had with Scotland and the border clans led to many invasions and changes of loyalties among the residents of the border areas. The Rowlands were involved in this conflict. In 1603, the unified English and Scottish crowns, under James I, dispensed these "unruly border clans", clans which had served loyally in the defense of each side. The unification of the governments was threatened and it was imperative that the old "border code" should be broken up. Hence the "Border Clans" were banished to England, northern Scotland and to Ireland, the colonies and the "new world". In North America, some of the first migrants which could be considered kinsman of the family name Rowland and their spelling variants were Francis Roland, settled Virginia in 1656; ....John Rollands arrived in Virginia in 1653; Daniel Rowland settled in Virginia in 1653; John Rowland settled in Virginia in 1635; Lewis Rowland settled in Virginia in 1663.....The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was: Gold with a red lion rampant.
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