Recorded in the spellings of Gwalter and the strange dialectal form of Gwilt, this is a Welsh surname. Deriving ultimately from the pre 8th century German given name 'Waldhar', a compound of the elements "wald" meaning rule plus "hari" an army. As Walter the personal name was introduced into England during the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1066), and after the Norman Conquest became even more popular. It is first recorded in the English Domesday Book of 1086, whilst Gwallter Fab llyhwarch was registered in Wales in 1162. Gwallter Mechain (1767 - 1849) was a clergyman, poet and antiquarian, from Montgomeryshire, Wales. The surname first appears on record in the latter half of the 16th Century, and recordings include Isabell Gwalter in the Wills Register of Llandefeilog, Carmarthen for 1607; William Gwalter who married Margaret Croshaw, on September 22nd 1643, at All Saints church, Wandsworth; and William Gwilt, whose son was baptised at Pont Morlais wesleyan church, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, on January 22nd 1831. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Evah Gwalter who married John Johns, at St. Ishmael, Carmarthen, Wales, on November 11th 1573. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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