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WALKER Family History


This ancient and distinguished surname, with over fifty entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", and having no less than sixty Coats of Arms, is of Anglo-Scottish origins. It is either an occupational name for a fuller, or a locational name from a place called Walker in Northumberland. If occupational it derives from the pre 7th Century word "wealcere", and describes the work of the fuller to scour and thicken raw cloth in a large vessel containing a water mixture by trampling on it. Job descriptive surnames denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and became hereditary when a son followed the father into the same skill or business...


Walker (Variants: Waker) The origins of the Walker surname lie with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. This was the regular term for the occupation during the Middle Ages in western and northern England. It has been used as a translation in Scotland of Gaelic Mac an Fhucadair ‘son of the fuller’.

An English and Scottish occupational name for Fuller deriving from the Old English welcrere, ‘one who trampled cloth in a bath of lye or kneaded it, in order to strengthen it’, derivative of wealcan ‘to walk,tread’. From Middle English walkere.

A fuller would scour and thicken raw cloth by beating it and tramping it in water. In the North of England, fullers’ earth is called ‘walker’s clay’ and a fulling-mill is called a ‘walk-mill’. In Scotland, to walk, still means to full cloth and in the north of England and south of Scotland a fulling-mill is still called a walk-mill. This name may signify either a fuller or an officer whose duty consisted in walking or inspecting a certain space of forest ground.

An early bearer of the surname was Willim Walker, 1580 in IGI (Selston, Notts).

An English convict from Nottinghamshire, William Walker was transported aboard the "Ann" in August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia.

Mary Edwards Walker, one of the earliest American feminists was known for wearing men’s clothes and later served in the American Civil War as a nurse. She established a women’s colony in 1897 known as ‘Adamless Eden’.

In 1891, the general population was widespread especially in Northern England, Midlands and Scotland. There were 86,727 occurrences in England and Wales and a further 14,035 recorded in Scotland.

In 1881, Nottinghamshire was a top county in the UK with 2,496 occurrences with 639 residing in the Nottingham St Mary district. In the South East of England, Kent was also a top county recorded with 1,775 occurrences. In the same year, the most common occupation in the UK for Walker was Farmer, along with Coal Miner and Labourer, which were reported jobs as the top 3 jobs worked. A less common occupation was Agricultural Labourer.

Geographically, there are many name related Walker locations, including Walker Fold, Walkerburn, Walkeringham, Walkerith, Walkering, Walker’s Green and Walkerton in the UK.


1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Kent

1881 Census in Nottinghamshire

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain


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Angela Walker

My father is Charles Ellen Walker he was Irish and Scottish he lived in Texas. I want to go to Ireland ????????

Kayleigh walker

I live in north east England my name is kayleigh walker...iam starting to trace my roots

Alan Walker

I can’t edit my prior message unfortunately, but my 13th great grandfather was Richard Walker born in 1540 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, and married to Jonet Kennedy, born in Yorkshire in 1544, if that helps tie into anyone else’s family tree. Thanks!

Alan Walker

I am a Walker from Texas, and I have traced my Walker lineage back to 1540 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland. I would love to know more, but records become so muddied going back this far.


My name is Jonathan Walker. The Walker family were not fullers they were warriors and richmen we have a necklace that has been passed down since 1897 which was worth back then in modern money 22 carrot gold and we have a war sword and shield.

Grahame Walker

looking for family history of my GGG grandfather William Walker born in Donegal about 1798 and married Mary Hamilton and their son my GG grandfather James born Nov 1818 and married Jane Colquohoun in 1839 and in 1841 immigrated to australia on the ship Helen

Christopher James Walker

Hello I'm a Walker from Scotland,my family goes back quiet a long way here,

Mitchell Walker

Hello I am Mr.Walker I traced my Walker Ancestors back to Rotherhithe, London to around 1700, they married into the Grimaldi Royals in the 1800s, however Walker is not a London surname and my DNA test shows up lot of irish, scotish, north England and London area. I always wondered if my Walker ancestor from before the 1700s was Irish.


Hello. My ggg grandfather was William Walker from Elaghbeg townland in the parish of Burt in Donegal Ireland. If anybody has any more information about the walkers of this area I would be eternally grateful. Cheers Colin begley

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Walker name can be found in the British Isles, but its origin according to DNA is from the north-west coast of the Emerald Island. The Walker story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup A1] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Walker surname origin is from a Northern Ui Neill [R1b-L513] tribe. The Cenél Eoghan and the tribes of Donegal conquered much of Ulster (Derry and Tyrone).

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) Cenél Eoghan will expand across northern Ireland with their cousins Cenél Conaill and the Northern Ui Neill between 500-800 BCE. The clans of Finn Valley have the same DNA as people from Gwynedd in Brittany. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Walker story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Scotland as they form part of the Dalriada. Descendants of their tribe will then travel to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


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