Recorded as Land, Lande, Launde, Lawn, Landman and Landsman, this is an English surname. It has two possible origins. Firstly it may be a topographical surname for someone who lived in the country, as opposed to a town. If so the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "land", meaning territory. The second possible origin of the modern surname is from the early medieval English and Old French 'launde' meaning an enclosure in a forest. In some cases the surname may be locational, from the place called Launde in Leicestershire, which is recorded as "Landa" in 1163. Early examples of the surname recording include examples such as Richard le Landman in the writs of Parliament for the year 1300, and William atte Land in the same writs also in 1300. Other examples include the marriage of Richard Land and Elizabeth Fuller at St. James's Clerkenwell, in the city of London in 1579, and Richarard Landsam and Maria Darby at St Brides Fleet Street, also in the city of London, in 1609. John Landman was one of the very first colonists to New England, being recorded in Virginia in 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de la Lande. This was dated 1205, in the Northamptonshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.