An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The history of the name Wallace begins in the Scottish/English Borderlands with a family of Strathclyde-Briton ancestry. It is a name for a person who was understood to be foreign. The name is actually an abbreviation of Wallensis, which meant Welsh is derived from the Anglo Norman French word waleis, meaning foreign. It is sometimes difficult for the layman to understand how such a renowned Scottish Clan could be called, literally, Welsh.Yet from the 3rd to the 8th century the Kingdom of Strathclyde stretched from the northern tip of France to the southern shores of the Clyde in Scotland. This kingdom was composed of solely coastal territories, of regions including Wales, Lancashire, Westmorland and that part of southwest Scotland known as Galloway. Ironically, the first Scottish poem, dated about 1000 AD, was written in Welsh. Hence, Richard Wallensis was a vassal in 1174 of Walter FitzAlan, the Norman/ Breton who had settled in Salop in England and then moved north to Scotland. He would later found the great line of Scottish Stewart Kings. The Wallensis were undoubtedly the original natives of the area rather than travelers who moved north from the Welsh border in the train of the Stewarts.
The surname Wallace was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire where in 1173 AD Richard Wallensis obtained the lands that belonged to the former kingdom of Strathclyde called Richardstoun (now Riccarton) by a grant from the King. His son, Richard Walency (or Waleis) witnessed several charters between 1190 and 1220, showing his approval of transfers of land in Molle, Kelso, Cupa and Paisley. The Chiefship passed to his grandson, Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie in Renfrewshire, who had acquired those lands, the ancient Clan territories and other lands in Ayrshire. It was the younger son of Malcolm Wallace, William Wallace, born in 1275, who was Scotland's folklore hero. A knight of no small qualification and skill, throughout his life he had maintained a friendship with the House of Stewart. His many exploits started in 1297 when he killed the Sheriff of Lanark. Wallace continued to harass the English occupying army with such skill and bewildering speed that the English were demoralized. Wallace unified the Clans of Scotland against a common invader. One of the English captains reported that Wallace was lying in Selkirk forest with his army of Clansmen. An English force moved northwards to destroy him but found itself under siege in Stirling Castle. The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a decisive victory for Wallace, and he was awarded the guardianship of Scotland. He was probably the greatest unifying factor that Scotland ever had. But the English King once more invaded Scotland, set up his own government and Wallace became an outlaw. Betrayed by Sir John de Menteith near Glasgow, he was tried for treason in London and executed on August 23rd, 1305. But the Clan Wallace lived on with some forty or fifty branches, most of them having their own lands and territories. The Chiefly line of the Wallaces of Riccarton took on the designation of Craigie after acquiring the Craigie estates by marriage. Other important branches started at Cessnock and Kelly in Renfrewshire. The life of Wallace was well documented by "Blind Harry," the minstrel.
Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Wallace has been spelled Wallace, Wallis, Wallys, Walace, Uallas (Gaelic) and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wallace research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1642, 1688, 1720, 1795, 1616, 1703, 1982 and are included under the topic Early Wallace History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 203 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wallace Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Wallace family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:
Wallace Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Wallace Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Wallace Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Wallace Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Wallace Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Wallace Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Wallace Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Pro libertate
Motto Translation: For liberty.
A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...More
Septs of the Distinguished Name Wallace
Ualas, Uallas, Walace, Walis, Wallace, Wallis, Wallys, Walys, Wolace, Wollace, Wollis, Wollys and more.
The Wallace Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wallace 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 4 April 2016 at 03:55.