This Scottish surname of GLEN was from the lands of GLEN in the parish of Traquair, Peebleshire. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Colban del GLEN, who received a legacy left him by the queen in 1328, and in the same year King Robert I confirmed to Colban del GLEN and Anabile, his spouse the land of Quilte in the sheriffdom of Peebles. In the following year there is recorded an annuity to Roger del GLEN, who rendered to the Exchequer the accounts of the provost of Peebles at Scone. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Later instances of the name include Duncan de GLENE who was a witness in 1368, and John de GLENE witnessed a charter at Longeuton, circa. 1377. Thomas of GLEN was granted a safe conduct to travel into England in 1422, and William GLEN was a witness at Paisley in 1452. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.
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