The saga of the name Wollis begins with a Strathclyde-Briton family in the ancient Scottish/English Borderlands. 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,
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
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.
Early Origins of the Wollis family
The surname Wollis 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.
Early History of the Wollis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wollis research.Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1642, 1688, 1720, 1795, 1616, 1703, 1982 and are included under the topic Early Wollis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wollis Spelling Variations
Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations
are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Wollis has been spelled Wallace, Wallis, Wallys, Walace, Uallas (Gaelic) and others.
Early Notables of the Wollis family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was James Wallace (1642-1688), a Scottish minister in Orkney; Samuel Wallis (1720-1795), an English navigator, eponym of Wallis Island; John Wallis (1616-1703), a British mathematician who introduced the infinity symbol, eponym of the asteroid 31982 Johnwallis; and John Wallace of Craigie who was Lt... Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wollis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wollis family to Ireland
Some of the Wollis family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wollis family to the New World and Oceana
Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan
societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them: Eleanor, Elizabeth, George, Jane, William, and Mary Wallace all settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1768; Alexander Wallace settled in Georgia in 1733.
The Wollis Motto
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.
Wollis Family Crest Products