Recorded as Walter, Walters, Waldar, Walder, Walther, and occassionally as Wolter or Wolters, this is an ancient Anglo-Saxon surname. It derives from the pre 7th century Olde German personal name 'Waldhar', a compound of the elements "wasl", meaning rule, and "hari," an army. The personal name was introduced into England during the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1077), and after the Norman Conquest of 1066 was widely adopted firstly as a Christian name and later a surname as well. It is first recorded as Walterus in the Domesday Book of 1086, although the surname is much later being first recorded in the latter half of the 12th century with that of Petrus Walterus in the Feudal Documents of the Abbey of Bury St.Edmund's, in the county of Suffolk in 1182. The patronymic form emerges in the early part of the 14th Century, (see below), the final 's' on the name being a reduced form of 'son of'. William Walters, aged 27, was a very early colonist to the New World, settling in Virgina in 1618. Other early English church recordings include Elizabeth Walters who married Edward Clark at St. Michaels Cornhill, in the city of London in 1559, and Frederick Wolters at St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, on August 2nd 1807. The coat of arms granted in 1663 to William Walters of Cundall in Yorkshire, has the blazon of a silver field charged with a chevrons engrailed, between three black chess rooks. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Walters. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as the Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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