Wahlen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German surname Wahlen emerged in the lands that formed the modern state of Lower Saxony, which is presently bordered by the North Sea, the Hartz mountains and the Elbe and Ems rivers. Lower Saxony was previously a medieval Saxon dukedom. In the Middle Ages, many of the Saxon lands were a part of the Holy Roman Empire, which was characterized by the Feudal System. Before this era, people were known only by a single name. However, as the population increased and travelers set out on their journeys, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves. Many people, such as the Wahlen family, adopted the name of their feudal occupation as their surname. However, an occupational name did not become a hereditary surname until the office or type of employment became hereditary. The surname Wahlen was an occupational name for an elector. In medieval Germany, electors were the ecclesiastical and temporal princes who elected the Holy Roman Emperor. Ancient records reveal the name Wahlen is derived from the Old German word wala, which means choice.

Early Origins of the Wahlen family

The surname Wahlen was first found in Oldenburg, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the prominent families of these regions. From the 13th century on the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the Prussian nation.

Chronicles first mention J. Wale of Greifswald, Pomerania in 1322 and Gerd Waler of Anklam in 1406, but the oldest branches of the family are mentioned as having their seat in Oldenburg and even earlier in nearby Doetlingen.

Early History of the Wahlen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wahlen research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1753, 1541, 1617, 1587 and 1753 are included under the topic Early Wahlen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wahlen Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wahle, Wahlen, Wahler, Wahls, Wahlers, Waler and many more.

Early Notables of the Wahlen family (pre 1700)

Notables of the time included Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen (1541-1617) a wealthy and politically influential Polish Jew who is said to have briefly occupied the throne of Poland on 18 August 1587. According to folklore...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wahlen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wahlen migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wahlen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lars Wahlen, who settled in New York city in 1843
  • M Elis Wahlen, who landed in America in 1845 [1]
  • Anna Katharina Wahlen, aged 69, who arrived in America in 1869 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wahlen (post 1700) +

  • Friedrich Traugott Wahlen (1899-1985), Swiss politician
  • Pharmacist's Mate Second Class George Edward Wahlen (1924-2009), United States Army major who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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