The English surname Rowlands, also found in Ireland and Scotland, is derived from Rol(l)ant, a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements hrod ‘renown’ and land ‘land’, This was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages as a result of the fame of Charlemagne’s warrior of this name, who was killed at Roncesvalles in ad 778. The name may also be an habitational name from places in Derbyshire and Sussex, so named from Old Norse rá ‘roebuck’ and lundr ‘wood grove’. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Rolland. This was dated 1218, when he was a witness at the Assize Court of Lincolnshire. Recordings taken from early church registers in the diocese of Greater London include the marriage of Edward Rowlands and Catherine Wood, on March 9th 1799.