This name, with variant forms Walder, Gwalter, Gaulter, Gauthier, Valtier etc., derives from the Old German personal name Waldhar, a compound of the elements "wald" meaning "rule", plus "hari", an army. The name was initially introduced into England during the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) and after the conquest was widely adopted as a christian name in Norman forms Walt(i)er and Waut(i)er, the latter representing the normal vernacular pronunciation of the Middle Ages. One, Robertus filius (son of) Walterii or Gatterii was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname first appears in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). Further early recordings include Petnis Walteri, (Suffolk, 1191), and Geoffrey Walter, (Sussex, 1296). On October 4th 1697, Robert Walder and Elizabeth Bearcroft were married in St. Katherine by the Tower, London, and on October 23rd 1814, William Valder married a Mary Fisher in St. Olave Hart Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Petrus Walterus, which was dated 1182, "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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