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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Dutch, English, German, Irish

Where did the English Walls family come from? What is the English Walls family crest and coat of arms? When did the Walls family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Walls family history?

The ancestors of the name Walls date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Walls family lived near a stone-built wall. Walls is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Other types of local surnames include topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. The surname Walls referred to a person who lived beside a large stone wall, which was used either for the purpose of fortification, or to keep back the encroachment of the sea. Members of the Walls family were established in Gloucestershire prior to the Norman Conquest of England, in 1066. By the time of the Conquest, they were major landholders in that county.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Walls are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Walls include: Wall, Walls, Wale, Walles and others.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very ancient times and appeared as holders of lands in the Domesday Book compiled in 1086 by King William of England. The name was from the Anglo Saxon Wal, meaning a stranger.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Walls research. Another 267 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1210, 1620, 1679, 1647, 1728, 1588 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Walls History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 129 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Walls Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Walls family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 147 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Walls or a variant listed above:

Walls Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Walls, who arrived in Maryland in 1678
  • Benjamin Walls, who arrived in Maryland in 1697-1698

Walls Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • William Walls settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1758

Walls Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edmund Walls, who landed in Virginia in 1800
  • James Walls, who landed in America in 1811
  • Teresa Walls, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1812
  • Michael Walls, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832
  • Joseph Walls, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1834


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  • William "Bill" Thomas Walls (1914-1993), American professional football tight end
  • William Walls (1819-1893), Scottish lawyer, industrialist, and Dean of Guild of Glasgow
  • Daniel Walls (1942-1999), New Zealand theoretical physicist
  • Robert Walls (b. 1950), former Australian rules footballer and coach inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2006


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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Walls Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Walls Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 April 2014 at 10:03.

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