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Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The Oxland One Name Study is a Reconstructive Study - I am trying to map all Oxland's in the world back to one set of Ancestors which I believe came from the UK.

The name is rare and with one exception, all the Oxland clans in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Japan and South America come from ancestors born in the UK. The exception is a Russian Family that turns up in the 1920 Census in New York although they did not enter the USA via Ellis Island under that name.

Variant names

I have explored the possibility of variants but apart from one Ozland -€“ a miss-spelling of Bush Ben'€™s surname in the transcription stage of the PRO Civil Register listings, I have not come across another. At this time I believe Oland and Ogland completely separate names, I may be wrong, but as ever, I will keep an open mind.

Name origin

Oxland is a feudal term for a measurement of land. It means the amount of land one Ox can plough in a year and was used for taxation purposes. The Doomsday book uses the measurement term '€˜Team'€™. There were 8 Oxen in a 'Team'€™ and 1/8 of a team is an Oxland. The land measured was for arable, agricultural and grazing land. It did not include bogs, woods, ditches etc.

Close Rolls, Edward II -€“ June 1321 -€“ Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward II: vol 3 (1895) '...the cultura of Skalburdaile, which Richard Hubert holds, on the north; a moiety of the meadow of Fosse on the south; a moiety of the pasture of Oxland on the ...'.

'The Description of Pembrokeshire, 1603. by George Owen of Henllys, Lord of Kemes contains a reference to fields and farming in 16th century Pembrokeshire.

The national Library of Wales Journal Vol 27 – 1991 '€˜oxl is the abbreviation for a land measure.'

The Association of British Scrabble Players

Definition: "Oxgang Oxgate Oxland A BOVATE or one-eighth of a CARUCATE of ploughland, the share attributed to each ox in a team of eight."

There are a few references to Oxland as land. The Corporation of Hull had a sixth part of an Oxland.

British History on Line -

There are references to Land Tax in Pembrokeshire: Taxes from Pembrokshire, and a farm call Oxland in Pembrokeshire,1174&parent_directory_id=&criteria=bro&language=&mode=property&uprn=200003247037

Historical occurrences of the name

In the second half of the 19th Century, Ocean Liners called in at Plymouth on their way to North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It is not therefore a surprise to find that an Oxland would either crew on a ship, or become a passenger, although some emigration predates this.

The earliest evidence I have of an Oxland abroad is a Government Public Notice in an Australian Newspaper, which informs the reader that John Oxland, one of three men, had been appointed Constable for Hobart Town (Tasmania) Hobart Town 1803-1954 Gazette Australian Newspapers Saturday 21st August, 1810. accessed 12.06.2010.

Another Oxland to emigrate permanently was John Oxland who was transported to Australia for life in August 1844 after stealing 3 sheep, although he was not convicted of killing them. Colonial Times Newspaper, Tuesday 28th October 1845.

Thomas Oxland is mentioned in the Louisiana Census of 1850 as residing in Orleans. There is a house in Bayou Rapids, Alexander, Louisiana called Oxland also known as Brown House.

Oxland was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 5th, 1984.,_Louisiana.

Oxland is a farm-plantation house and Thomas was one of a family of Sugar Refiners. Robert and John Oxland (Chemists), developed and patented sugar refining methods in 1851.

The Brisbane Courier Saturday 18th June 1870 page 6

Name frequency

Looking at the birth rates of Civil Registration from Sept 1837 to 2000, 381 children were registered with the surname Oxland, of those 203 (53.28 %) were male.

Surnames of England and Wales - the ONS list of an Office of National Statistics database, September 2002. shows Oxland with a count of 100 and ranks it 33148.

Distribution of the name

At this time I do not know where the name originated. If one looks at the data from 1841 census onward, one would believe it to be the County of Devon in the UK. However, the earliest instances of the name are mostly found in London, i.e. the earliest Marriage in 1548 and many of the marriages in the 18th Century.

I have produced distribution maps for each census return from 1841 to 1911 but they make little sense as instances of the name are so rare, even the movement of one or two people distort the results. The other problem is that unlike many of the distribution maps in The Surname Detective, Investigating surname Distribution in England 1086 - present, Rogers, Manchester University Press 1995, where high volume names gradually spread across country, rare name population's jump. Devon to London without stopping in between shows up as dramatic migration when in some circumstances, one person was visiting an extended family member, it just happened that there was a Census that day.


I have identified every Oxland from registers held at the PRO, between 1837 and 2000 and have listed them by birth, marriage and death. This was followed by an extensive search of Parish Registers - currently I have searched over 450 English Parish Registers. My birth database holds approx 990 Oxland's (including Spouses) the earliest for a marriage in 1548 - last updated 2005.

The data collected has been placed into birth, marriage and death databases and I have produced a research database so that I do not revisit records or parish registers.

Using the 1841 to 1911 Census I have been able to identify family groups and have over 20 family trees which are held on Family Tree Maker.