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Surname Wallrafe - Meaning and Origin

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Wallrafe: What does the surname Wallrafe mean?

The last name Wallrafe is believed to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, originating from a combination of two words; wall and raft. The meaning of the name is believed to be “raft dweller”, suggesting that the original bearer of the name was a person who lived on or near a river.

In certain areas, the Wallrafe surname is thought to have undergone a variation in spelling, becoming Wallerf or Wallruff. In some cases, the spelling is thought to be a result of a mixture of the two words, creating the shortened form “wallraf”.

Wallrafe has also been found to be a diminutive of the masculine given name Wallace, which translate as “foreigner” or “stranger”. This suggests that the Wallrafe family may have descended from a noble family, with their place of origin being Scotland or Wales.

In subsequent centuries, the Wallrafe surname has been found all over the British Isles, with the highest concentration being in Devon and Cornwall. This could also mean that the name is derived from locations in these areas, rather than from the name itself.

Today, the Wallrafe name is still present in many areas, often spelling variations, of the British Isles. It is also now found in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with the family largely believed to be descended from those who left the British isles in search of a better life.

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Wallrafe: Where does the name Wallrafe come from?

The surname Wallrafe is most common today among families in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, and other parts of Northern Europe. It is believed to have originated in Germany, with Wallrafe being a variant of a Germanic place name of Walrafen, meaning "place of the crows."

Throughout history, Wallrafe families have always been well-established in northern Germany, spreading to other nearby countries to the east as well as further afield. During the height of the Hanseatic League, many Wallrafe families spread across the Baltic Sea to establish some of the first international trading posts and exchanging goods and services with other European nations.

Today, Wallrafe is one of the most frequent surnames in countries throughout Northern Europe, such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Hungary. Wallrafe is also frequently found in countries throughout Europe’s former Iron Curtain region, including Russia, along with Poland and the Czech Republic. American families with Wallrafe roots can trace their ancestry to these countries and are believed to have arrived on the continent sometime in the late 1800s.

Wallrafe families continue to remain connected and stay in contact with their relatives all over the world, in large part due to the strong ties established by their ancestors.

Variations of the surname Wallrafe

Wallrafe is a German surname of unclear origin. It is most likely derived from the Middle High German term “walle”, which means “wall”. It was most likely a name for someone who lived near or worked with a wall. Additionally, it may have been a habitational name for someone who was from a place named Walle or a variation of Waldrafe, which also means “wall”.

The most common variants and spellings of the surname Wallrafe are Walraf, Walraff, Walrath, Walfraf, Walrev, Wolfrum and Wolreham. It may also be spelled Valrafe or Vollraff.

Other surnames that may share the same origin include Walrafen, Walrath, Weiler, Walremlin, Walregen, Walrod and Walburg.

Wallrafe is not a particularly common name; however, there are pockets of people bearing the surname living in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and Russia. There are also a few cases of the surname in the United States, primarily as a result of German immigrants in the 19th century.

Famous people with the name Wallrafe

  • Otto Wallrafe, German school teacher and Resistance fighter
  • Erich Wallrafe, German composer
  • Dieter Wallraf, German footballer
  • Pieter Wallrafe, Dutch politician
  • Rebecca Wallrafe, French philologist
  • Jakob Wallrafe, German physicist
  • Johannes Wallrafe, German theologian
  • August Wallrafe, German sculptor and painter
  • Gottfried Wallrafe, German historian
  • Werner Wallraf, German historian

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