Recorded as Walstow and Walstowe, this is an English locational surname. It is recorded in various pockets around the country. A scattered name suggests that probably around Elizabethan times, the original village was "cleared" and the inhabitants scattered to the four winds. Locational surnames are often "from" names, given to a person after he, or sometimes she, "left" their original homestead to move somewhere else, and were called after their former home as easy identification. Spelling being at best indifferent and local dialects very thick, often lead to the creation of "sounds like" names. In this case we have not been able to positively identify a place called Walstow, which would indicate that either the spelling has been changed, or that Walstow(e) has disappeared, the known fate of at least three thousand small towns and villages of the British Isles over the past five hundred years. As to why all these places should disappear has been the subject of many books but changes in agricutural practices, drainage, the great plagues, urbanisation, and even coastal erosion have all played their parts. The name would seem to mean "The place on the Wall" perhaps a reference to Hadrians Wall, but this is not proven. Early recordings include William or Wyllm Walstowe, at St Stephan church, Coleman Street, in the city of London, on November 5th 1621, and Joseph Walstow at St Nicholas Deptford, Kent, on March 13th 1833.
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