This is a locational name from a place thus called, said to be in Ayrshire (Scotland). Such locational names were given to inhabitants who moved either voluntarily or otherwise from their place of origin, or, to the Lord of the Manor. As a surname, Shankland has a very late first recording i.e. late 17th Century. The name most likely derives from the Olde English elements 'sceanca' meaning a 'shark' or 'leg' and 'land' - land. It occurs with the Shanklin - a placename in the Isle of Wight. Shanklin is most frequently found in Stirlington. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Grissell Shankiland. which was dated 1682 at Cowhill, Dumfriesshire. during the reign of King James 11, of England known as the last Catholic King, 1685 - 1688. 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.