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Surname Qualls - Meaning and Origin

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DNA, Surname, and Self: A Journey of Identity and Heritage through the iGENEA DNA Test

The iGENEA DNA test provided me with fresh insights about my lineage and identity, connecting me with the Qualls surname deeply rooted in my family history. This journey broadened my understanding of my cultural heritage and intensified my sense of self-awareness, enabling me to perceive myself within a broader cultural context.

M. Qualls

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Qualls: What does the surname Qualls mean?

The last name Qualls is of English origin, likely derived from the Old English term "cwells," which means to quell or subjugate. It may have been taken as a name representing a person's subjugative nature, referring to a person who was especially resolute and decisive in his actions. Alternatively, it could have been taken to mean someone who was able to quell, or settle, disputes.

Qualls likely first appeared as a surname in the 14th century, likely derived from the Old English word "cwellere," which meant a person who conquered or subjugated. Over the following centuries, the spelling of Qualls changed and evolved multiple times, as did its meaning. This is likely due to migration and cultural exchange, with the name likely travelling along with people as they moved to other countries.

Today, Qualls continues to appear throughout the English-speaking world as a surname. It retains some links to its original meaning, though it is more often used as a name simply derived from the language and culture of England. Although its meaning is not as widely recognised as it once was, it can still be found throughout the world as a marker of the English history and heritage.

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Qualls: Where does the name Qualls come from?

The last name Qualls is most commonly found in the United States today. According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 12,000 citizens living in the US with the last name Qualls. This surname is concentrated in the Appalachian and Southern regions of the US, particularly in states like Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia, Mississippi, and Georgia.

The Qualls surname may have originated in England or Germany, and it likely means “of the puddle” or “pool.” The surname first appeared in American records in the early 1700s, likely with settlers sailing from Europe to the colonies.

Over the years, the Qualls name has spread across the US, with a concentration in the Southern states and Appalachia. Qualls is the 5,319th most common name in the US, with the bulk of Qualls living in Tennessee and Arkansas. There are also some Qualls living in Ohio, Oklahoma, and North Carolina.

If you’re looking for the last name Qualls today, the US is the most likely place to find it — concentrated in the South and Appalachia.

Variations of the surname Qualls

The surname Qualls is a variation of the German surnames Kalles, Kalle, Kall, Kahl, Kahlh, Kahlhause, Kuhl, Kuhls, Kol, and Kolas. The most common variant spellings are Kalles, Kall, Kahl, and Kolas, while common surnames derived from the original surname Qualls include Kuhla, Kolas, Kollas, Koller, Kollman, Kull, and Kallen.

Most of the variant spellings originated because of different accents in different countries or regions, or because of illiteracy among German-speakers. Because of the similarity between the variants, the surname was frequently misspelled during the immigration process. In the United States, the spelling "Qualls" became the most frequently recorded version, although the other variants appear just as frequently in records.

In some areas of Germany, the spelling of the name was changed to "Koll" or "Kohl," while other areas adopted the spellings "Cul" and "Kuhl." However, all these variants share the same origin in German surnames. Similarly, in the United States, members of the Qualls family might be known as or use the spelling of “Coles,” “Cullen,” or “Kohl.”

The variants and spellings are still in use in various forms today, with many people choosing to use a combination of their family's original spelling and a more Americanized spelling such as "Qualls" or "Koll." The usage of the variants and spellings of this surname show how the United States has helped shape the surnames of families who have been a part of this country for generations.

Famous people with the name Qualls

  • Marlon Qualls: An American gospel singer and songwriter.
  • Steve Qualls: An American Thoroughbred horse racing trainer.
  • Riley Qualls: An American actor and stunt performer.
  • Mackenzie Qualls: An American former professional basketball player.
  • Jackie Qualls: An American country music artist and actress.
  • Keith Qualls: An American singer-songwriter.
  • Joan Qualls: An American former professional basketball player.
  • Paul Qualls: An American professional basketball player.
  • J.D. Qualls: An American professional basketball player.
  • Bruce Qualls: An American former professional basketball player.
  • Murfee Qualls: An American model and actress.
  • Sarah Qualls: An American musician best known for her work on the bands “Templet” and “Stab City”.
  • Adam Qualls: An American actor and comedian.
  • Summer Qualls: An American makeup artist and entrepreneur.
  • Ervin Qualls: An American professional basketball player.
  • Jordan Qualls: An American professional basketball player.
  • Larry Qualls: An American professional basketball player.
  • Bart Qualls: An American independent singer-songwriter.
  • Cliff Qualls: An American former professional basketball player.
  • Chip Qualls: An American professional boxer.

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