Show ContentsWollter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wollter is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest of 1066 brought to England. It comes from the Germanic personal name Walter. The name is composed of the elements wald, meaning rule and heri, meaning army. [1] [2]

As far as the Watters variant is concerned, "upon the adoption of surnames by the common people, a person who resided near such a place would be called William or John Atte-Water, still retained in Attwater; but on the omission of the preposition in the XV. century, the name was pluralized to Waters. " [3]

"Water was the normal medieval pronunciation of Walter." [4]

Early Origins of the Wollter family

The surname Wollter was first found in Cambridgeshire where they held a family seat from early times as Lords of the manor or Crowhurst.

Walter of Lorraine (d. 1079), was Bishop of Hereford, a native of Lotharingia or Lorraine, was chaplain of Edith or Eadgyth (d. 1075), the Confessor's queen, and as a reward of his industry was appointed to the bishopric of Hereford at Christmas 1060. [5]

Walter of Palermo (fl. 1170), was Archbishop of Palermo, primate and chancellor of Sicily, and was sent to Sicily by Henry II of England as an instructor for young William II of Sicily. [5]

Hubert Walter (c.1160-1205) was Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Weeton in Lancashire was an early home of the family. "This place, in Domesday Book called Widetun, was early in the family of Walter." [6]

"The church [of Woolvercott in Lancashire], situated on the bank of the Isis, has a sepulchral chapel on the north side, containing a stately monument to the family of Walter, of whom David Walter was High Sheriff of the county, and commanded a regiment of horse under Charles I. in the parliamentary war." [6]

About the same time, Greenalgh with Thistleton, again in Lancashire was home to another branch of the family. It was here that the manor of Greenalgh-cum-Thistleton was held in the reign of Charles I. [6]

As mentioned above, the surnames Walter and Watter were interchangeable so accordingly early rolls had a mixture of phonetic entries, both as a forename and surname.

The first record for the family was found in 1066 where the ancient Latin form of the name was listed, Walterusepiscopus. This entry was made at the time of the Conquest. Twenty years later, Robertus filius Walterii, Galterii was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Later Galterus le Lingedraper was listed at Oseney, Oxfordshire in 1210 and Petrus Walterus was listed at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in 1182. The Pipe Rolls for 1191 in Suffolk included an entry for Petrus Walteri and Geoffrey Walter was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [4]

Waterus de Cantelupo was listed in Lincolnshire c. 1135; Walterus, Walterus filius Herberti was similarly listed in Lincolnshire; John Watter was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Warwickshire in 1214; Richard Wauter and Roger Watter were found in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1275; Hugh Water was found in the Assize Rolls for Northumberland in 1279; Alice Waters in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327; and John Wauters in Warwickshire in 1348. [4]

Early History of the Wollter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wollter research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1412, 1566, 1604, 1611, 1628, 1629, 1630, 1675, 1678, 1847 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Wollter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wollter Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Walter, Walters, Watter, Watters, Walthew, Wattis and others.

Early Notables of the Wollter family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Walter or FitzWalter (d. 1412?), an early astrologer, educated at Winchester and Oxford. He died at Winchester, and was buried there about 1412. [5] Sir John Walter (1566-1630), was an English judge, second son of Edmund Walter of Ludlow, Shropshire. [5] Henry...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wollter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wollter family to Ireland

Some of the Wollter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 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 Wollter family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Wollter name or one of its variants: William Walters, a fisherman, settled in Trinity, Newfoundland, in 1757; Henry Walters was a gun-maker of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1806; Casper Walter from England settled in New York in 1709 with his wife and nine children.

Contemporary Notables of the name Wollter (post 1700) +

  • Sven Justus Fredrik Wollter (1934-2020), Swedish actor, writer, and political activist

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook