Of uncertain origin. It is found in Old French as Yolande, of which this is a Latinate form. It may be ultimately of Germanic origin, but if so it has been altered beyond recognition. It is also sometimes identified with the name of St Jolenta (d. 1298), daughter of the king of Hungary.
Spanish (Hernández) and Jewish (Sephardic): patronymic from the personal name Hernando (see Fernando). This surname also became established in southern Italy, mainly in Naples and Palermo, since the period of Spanish dominance there, and as a result of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15th century, many of whom moved to Italy.