One of my ancestors used to own a rather large farmstead - Ullestad - in Voss, Norway, during the 17th century. Back in those days it was customare to be known by the farm where you farmed, resulting in a surname of sorts. Heavy drinking and resulting bar fights and fines on behalf of his descendants forced them to sell it a couple of hundred years later and move to a smaller farmstead, which was in its turn sold and the family moved to an even smaller farm. One of the sons about the time of the repeated sales and switches to smaller farmsteads decided to escape the drudgery of Norway (and the poor inhertiance prospects as a third or fourth son in a family constantly selling their farmstead to pay fines) and take a position in the royal guard in Copenhagen, thus preserving the name "Ullestad" for his line. Some time during the 19th century the 'e' was dropped, resulting in the present surname.
I am also, on my mothers side, descended from a knightly family of Scania, the Baad (yes, I know) family. Its coat of arms are still visible in the monastic church in Ystad.