This German surname of WILAND was originally from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements WIG (war) + LAND (land, territory). This name was borne by the supernaturally skilled smith of folk legend, and for this reason it may have been applied as a nickname to smiths. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking), the vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. A notable member of the name was Christopher Martin WIELAND (1733-1813) the German writer, born near Biberach, the son of a pietist pastor. In 1752 he was invited to Zurich and inspired to write 'Der greprufte Abraham' and other books full of sentimentality and religious mysticism. He is best remembered for his heroic poem 'Oberon' and various other works; he also edited several magazines. The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from which line each is descended.
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