This interesting name is a variant of Wald which is of Anglo-Saxon and German origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived in or near a forest, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "w(e)ald", and the Old High German "Wald", forest. After the extensive clearance of forests in England before the Norman Conquest, the Old English term "w(e)ald" also came to be used in Middle English (1200 - 1500) to denote open uplands "wolds", and waste land not brought into cultivation. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The modern surname can be found as Wald(e), Waud, Wo(u)ld(e), We(a)ld, Waldman and Walder. Among the recordings in London are the christening of Joannes, son of Joannis and Sarae Walder, on March 30th 1673 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the marriage of Robert Walder and Elizabeth Bearcroft, on October 4th 1697 at St. Katherine-by-the-Tower. The christening was also recorded in London of John Jacob, son of John and mary Walder, on July 16th 1781 at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Welde, which was dated 1121 - 1148, Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1, "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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