This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Northern European origins. Recorded in the Isles of Britain as a surname in the spellings of Walsh, Walshe, Welch, Welsh, Walch, Welshman and Walshman, it is or rather was, the word used by both the invading Anglo-Saxons of the 5th century a.d. onwards, and the later Vikings of the 7th century, to describe the local "natives" of the area that they were seeking to conquer.. The derivation is from "waelisc", meaning a stranger or foreigner, the word in its various spelling forms being found throughout Northern Europe.Early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic rolls and registers of the medieval period include Margery Wellis in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Essex in the year 1327, and Roger Welch in the 1334 Court Rolls of the borough of Colchester, also in Essex. In the late medieval period the word could also have been a nickname for a person from Wales, as in the example quoted by Geoffrey Chaucer in his famous book "Piers Plowman" as follows - "and Rose the Dyssheres, Godefram of Garlekhithe, and Griffyn the Walshe ..." The surname, although not in a hereditary spelling, is also found in early Irish recordings with Haylen de Walsh of Waterford, being the son of Phillip the Welshman, one of the invaders of 1170. The first hereditary holding of the family name is probably that of Simon Welsche, which was dated 1279. This was in the "Hundred Rolls" of Bedfordshire, England, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.
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