This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "boga", bow (used in a transferred topographical sense to means "river-bend"), and "land", land. These places include: Bowland (Forest) in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, recorded as "Boelanda" in Early Lancashire Charters, dated 1102; Bowlands in East Yorkshire, and Bolland (Bolton-by-Bolland) in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially to those former inhabitants who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. The surname is particularly well recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire under the variant forms "de Boghland, de Bouland" and "(de) Bowland". Occasionally, Bowland may be an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic Irish surname "O'Beollain", usually Anglicized "Boland", and formed from an Old Norse byname "Boli", meaning "Bull(-like)". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rogerus Bowland, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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.