Last name: Wallace
Is this the most famous Scottish surname? It is certainly near the top of the tree given the exposure of tradition, myth, and Hollywood, who manage to combine both. It is therefore a surprise to most people to know that for many nameholders, the origin may not have been Scottish at all, but English, Welsh or Breton! Recorded in the spellings of Wallace, Wallice, Walles, Wallis and Wallas, and first recorded in England, the surname derivation is from the Norman French word 'waleis', meaning a 'foreigner'. In England this was generally taken to mean a Welshman or a person living in the border counties of England and Wales, or a Celt from Cornwall, or a former Breton who settled in East Anglia after the Norman Conquest of 1066! Quite a range of possibilities. To add to the confusion the old 12th century British kingdom of Strathclyde, which nominally at least owed sovereignty to the king of England, extended north from the west end of what is now the English-Scottish border, upto and beyond the Clyde Valley. The inhabitants of this region were known as 'walensis', and it was here that Sir William Wallace was born. The surname is first recorded in England in the mid 12th Century (see below), and early recordings include Robert Walleis in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, in the year circa 1168. The surname is first recorded in Scotland in 1190 when one Richard Waleis witnessed a charter relating to Kelso Abbey. Sir William Wallace (1272 - 1305), the Scottish patriot, hero of romance, and joint Warden of Scotland, (he was also known as the "Terror Anglorum"), organised the Scottish army in 1296 and for ten years kept the invading armies of Edward 1st of England at bay. He was ultimately betrayed, taken prisoner, and executed as a traitor in London on August 24th 1305. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Waleis, which was dated circa 1156, in the "Book of Seals" of Warwickshire. This was during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, and known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2016
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
My family originates from Berkshire, England. And their last name was Wallace
Robert Francis Wallace
My family left County Laios (Queen) circa 1850. Believe three brothers, John (my great grandfather), Matthew and Finton all left for Windsor Locks Ct around that time. John and Finton were blacksmiths. Both John and Finton had large families. John was married to a Walsh and Finton to a Doran
thankyou this information really helps xx
hey you may be related to me
my great great grandfather is warren wallis and he came to america in the1750/1760,s i have been trying to find his family in scotland and england and the usa,also his wife my grandmother tabithia current his wife .if there is anyone with any info please forward it to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org thank you john h wallace
William A Wallace
My family is from the east end of London i can't even trace my grandfather partly because London's poor didn't keep records and the name was often corrupted when written as the English way WALLIS by the forces, so even though my old Pop fought in both wars and got a hell of a lot of medals theirs no record of him.
Patrick (Staker) Wallace
My family is from the area of Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, Ireland. A number of Wallaces reside in Co. Limerick. According to family lore, we are not related to the Scottish Wallace's; however, supposedly, we are of Norman ancestry and came to Ireland with the rest of the Old English.
I am looking for more info on my name to see the history. The is of great importance to me because I feel a strong and powerful name has been given to me. I think my name comes from people who were leader. I hope you can help. Thank you for your time and God Bless