This is a surname which is surprisingly well recorded. It is believed to be English and locational although the only place in the gazetters of the past three centuries called Badland is found in the former Welsh county of Radnorshire. However the Welsh dictionary of surnames fails to mention it, but then neither do any of the much more numerous English ones! In our opinion assuming that it does not come from Badland in Wales, it must be from a now "lost" medieval village. This is probably not surprising particularly if the place was on poor lands, as if that had been the case the inhabitants would have been only to keen to move somewhere better. An estimated five thousand surnames of the Brirish Isles do originate from lost places, this is a regular feature of surname research. Whilst Badlands would seem to mean what it says, the first recording that we have been able to find in church register recordings gives the name as Budland. If so the meaning may be "The lands of Budd", the latter being a popular Old English personal name which occurs in several village names such as Budbrook in Warwickshire, and Budworth in Cheshire. Early recordings include Rychard Budland who married Isabel Cooke at the church of St Mary Somerset in the city of London, on September 22nd 1588, and Henry Badland, christened at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on April 9th 1643.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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