Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart clock clock
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname Wales - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Wales: What does the surname Wales mean?

The surname Wales is of Welsh origin and is a territorial name derived from the Welsh personal name "Walis," which itself is derived from the ancient Celtic word “wal” meaning “stranger” or “foreigner.” The Welsh surname of “Wales” probably originated from a Welsh family whose homeland was in the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Strathclyde was an independent petty kingdom located in the south-west of Scotland, and is known for its nickname—Wales of the North—due to its similar geographical features to its southern namesake.

The surname Wales or Waleys may also be a variant of the English and Scottish surname "Wallace," which was brought to Britain during the Norman Conquest of 1066 and derived from the proto-Germanic personal name “Walhavaz” meaning “stranger”.

The earliest recorded form of the surname Wales can be found in “The Patent Rolls of England” dated 1273, and records one “Ralph de Wales” from Yorkshire, England. The arms of their family featured a red lion rampant on a white field. In addition, there is a public house in the City of London, England, near the Tower of London, which bears the name "The Wales".

The surname Wales today is most commonly found in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and North America, and is an uncommon surname. Interestingly, according to the 1881 census of Great Britain, The surname Wales was most commonly found in the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland in England.

Order DNA origin analysis

Wales: Where does the name Wales come from?

The last name Wales is most commonly found in the United Kingdom today. It is most common in the areas of South Wales, especially in the counties of Glamorgan and Mid Glamorgan where the name is found in its greatest density. It is also common to a lesser extent in other counties in South Wales, including Monmouthshire and Herefordshire. The name is also found in Yorkshire, Lancashire, and other northern counties of England. It is also found in Norland, Northumberland, and Durham and to a lesser extent in Scotland.

Outside of the UK, Wales is also found in large concentrations in Australia, the United States, Canada, and other countries throughout the world. It is especially common in the United States, where 10% of Americans with the name are descended from immigrants from either the United Kingdom or Germany. The name is also found in France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria, and other European countries.

Wales is one of the oldest surnames in the UK, dating back to the 10th century when it was used as a name for Welsh people living in what is now Glamorgan, Wales. The name was later adopted by families from other parts of Britain and Europe, and eventually spread around the world with people who immigrated to new countries. It is a popular name today, with more than 4,000 people in the UK alone bearing the name Wales.

Variations of the surname Wales

The surname Wales has many variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. These include: Welch, Wallas, Walshe, Wallys, Wale, Walee, Wallis, Walace, Weale, Weales, Weal, Wealle, Wael, Wayle, Weyl, Weale, Wealles, Weil, Wehle, Wheale, Waill, Waile, Walle, Welles, Wealys, Waeles, Waell, Wall, Whele, Wyles, Whetley, Whele, Wheele and Wheeles.

The Welsh spelling is 'Gwaelod' and the name is derived from numerous places in Wales such as Wale, Wales (a town near Chepstow), Wael or Waelen (spoken in Monmouthshire) and Waelsey in Glamorgan. It was common with Welsh families to take local names from the area in which they lived. The surname Wales may also have been derived from the Old English word 'wael', meaning 'stranger'.

The acronym for Wales is WL and the Welsh spelling is Cymru, which is derived from the Latin 'cum viri' meaning with a man. In modern Welsh, the word for ' Wales ' is 'Cymru' and the spelling is thought to date back to the 6th century.

The Welsh suffix '-od' is often used in place-names and is probably derived from the Old English word 'wœg' meaning 'hill'. In the UK, Wales has been a part of the country since 1284 and was united with England in 1536. Consequently, Wales has seen a great deal of migration and intermarriage with different cultures and nationalities. This explains why many variants and spellings of the surname Wales exist today.

Famous people with the name Wales

  • Kate Wales: Australian actress, best known for her roles on the television series Wentworth and Home and Away.
  • Jennifer Wales: American actress, best known for her role in the film Little Children.
  • Ben Wales: American film director, most notable for his critically acclaimed films Just Like Heaven and Spanglish.
  • Jason Wales: British entrepreneur, founder of the online fundraising platform JustGiving.
  • Ciara Wales: Irish singer, songwriter, and X Factor contestant.
  • Sophie Wales: British fashion designer, most notable for founding the fashion label ‘Wales & Co.’
  • Gavin Wales: Welsh athlete, most notable for winning an Olympic medal in judo at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  • Kim Wales: American businesswoman, founder of the financial advice website Ask Kim.
  • Joanne Wales: British singer, best known for her hit single ‘I Believe in You’.
  • Ryan Wales: American swimmer, five-time Olympic gold medalist.

Other surnames


Write comments or make additions to the name "Wales"

Your origin analysis