The German surname Wahls 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 Wahls 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 Wahls 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 Wahls is derived from the Old German word wala, which means choice.
Early Origins of the Wahls family
The surname Wahls 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 Wahls family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wahls research.Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1753 and 1753 are included under the topic Early Wahls History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wahls Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Wahle, Wahlen, Wahler, Wahls, Wahlers, Waler and many more.
Early Notables of the Wahls family (pre 1700)
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wahls Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wahls family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Johann Caspar Wahl, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1754; many others followed in 1842; 1844; 1855; 1871; and 1898. Melchior Wahl came with his wife Anna Clara and their two children to Philadelphia in 1808.