This interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is a Central French form of Waller, which derives from the Anglo-Norman French "wall(i)er", from the Old French "galure, galier", a coxcomb, spark, usually given to someone who was good-humoured or of pleasant temperament. The name is also found as Galier, Gallier and Galler. The surname is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. Nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of personal qualities, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress or occupation. Early examples include William Waliere (1185), mentioned in the "Records of the Templars in England in the 12th Century" (Kent), and Adam le Walere (1280) appears in "Middle English Surnames of Occupation, 1100 - 1350" (Hampshire). The marriage of Elizabeth Gauler and John Goddard was recorded on May 20th 1627, at Stopham, Sussex, while Ann, daughter of Thomas and Dorothy Gallear, was christened in Christ Church, Wellington, Shropshire, on June 24th 1781. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Walur, which was dated circa 1154, in "Documents illustrative of the Social and Economic History of the Danelaw", Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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