This surname OVERLAND is of two distinct origins. Firstly is was from Switzerland, one who came from Oberland (the high land) the name of several districts in Switzerland. The name simply meant the dweller at the high mountains. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. The name is also spelt OVERLANDE and EVERLAND. In the 17th century, so-called 'soldiers' names are found as the earliest kind of hereditary surnames in Switzerland. These names were derived from vocabulary words, usually martial-sounding monosyllables such as Rapp (prompt) Rask (bold), or occasionally names of animals and birds. The name were bestowed on soldiers for administrative purposes, and no doubt in some cases derived from pre-existing nicknames. Often names were of the locational type as found in this case. The name was also a habitation name 'of Overland' the name of several small places in Norway. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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