This is a surname of medieval German origins, although developed from a Norse-Viking personal name of the pre 10th Century. The origination is the two elements "volks-rasch" or "volks-rad", translating as "the bold people", or "the happy people". The most popular spelling form is probably Vollrath, but it is also recorded as Wollrich, Wol(l)ras, and Wollreich. Examples of the recordings date back to the original 13th Century Latin form used extensively throughout Europe until the Reformation period, whilst "link" spellings include Jacob Wolras of Wiedenbruck, Westfalen, on November 26th 1675; Petrus Wollreich, who married Catharina (surname unknown) at Kirchberg, Rheinland, on August 11th 1704; and Maria Wolrach or Wolrath, who married Hanss Kraus at Sachsen, in 1614.The name as Wollrauch has not been found in that spelling in Poland, Russia or Germany, suggesting that as it is first recorded in England in Victorian times, that it may be a slight Anglicization for the original form. The christening was recorded in Liverpool of Wolf, son of Charles Wollrauch and Julia Bley, on March 12th 1857. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Heinricus Volradi, which was dated 1293, in the "Annals of the City of Hamburg", Germany, during the reign of Adolph 1, of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1292 - 1298. 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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