This unusual name has nothing to do with 'Big' as such, it is a derived form of the 8th Century norse-Viking 'Bygg' which translates as 'Barley'. the surname derives either from the village of Biglands in Cumberland, or from some other place now 'lost', with the same Norse origins. The name is rarely recorded in its native region but widely so in London from the 16th Century, suggesting that a wholesale evacuation took place from the original village(s) probably as a result of plague or sheep include Jane Biglin who married William Puttinson on April 20th 1682, at St. James Church, Dukes Place, and Dorothy Bigland christened at St. Botolphs, London on February 21st, 1690. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Biglandes, which was dated March 22nd 1607, christened at St. Botolphs church, Bishopgate, London, during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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.