This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of "Wall" which itself has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a stone wall, for example a wall built to fortify a town or a sea wall, from the Olde English "w(e)all". In Essex the reference is probably to the sea-walls of Rochford Hundred; in Oxford, London and Colchester, to the town wall; and in Northumberland to the Roman Wall. Alternatively the surname may also be of topographical origin, denoting one who lived by a stream or spring, from the Olde English "waell(a)" (West Midlands), and Middle English "wall(e)", a spring, well. The ending "-s", indicates "of that place" when attached to a locational or topographical surname. Robert del Wal was recorded in 1213 in the Curia Rolls of Staffordshire, while Alexander super le Wal was listed in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire. William Walls married Elizabeth Ripley on August 19th 1572 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London. Richard Wall (1694 - 1778) was an Irishman who served in the Spanish Fleet in 1718 and was part of the peace negotiations at Aix-la-Chapelle (1747 - 1748); he became Spanish ambassador in London in 1748. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de la Walle, which was dated 1195, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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