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Surname Walts - Meaning and Origin

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Walts: What does the surname Walts mean?

Walts is an English surname that has its origins in Germanic languages. It is a patronymic form of the personal name Walter, which means "ruler of the army." The name is derived from the Old High German Walthari, composed of the elements "walt-" (rule) and "heri" (army). The suffix "s" indicates "son of," so Walts essentially means "son of Walter." Over time, surnames like this were developed to distinguish between individuals with the same first name in the same area - for example, John son of Walter would become John Walts. As for many other patronymic surnames, over time it became hereditary and no longer literally indicated the father's name. The surname Walts is quite rare, particularly in the United States, where it is primarily found in New York. Variations of the name include Waltz, Walt, and Walters.

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Walts: Where does the name Walts come from?

The surname Walts is most common in the United States today, particularly in the Midwest. According to the US Census Bureau, the surname is found in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, North Dakota, Missouri, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The highest concentration of Walts families can be found in Texas, with more than 4,500 households accounted for. In addition to the US, the surname is also found in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, and in a number of European countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.

The origins of the surname are unclear. It is believed to be either German or Swiss in origin. Some sources point to a possible Dutch origin as well. One possible explanation is that the surname is derived from a Middle High German word meaning ‘foreigner’, a reference to the medieval German rulers of Swiss lands. Alternatively, it may be a combination of the German or Swiss words ‘wal(l)t’ (wall) and ‘halden’ (to keep).

In terms of its current prevalence, the surname Walts appears to be rare outside of the US and Canada. It is not a particularly common name in England, Australia, or any other English-speaking country. However, it is still fairly widespread throughout the US Midwest region, likely due to a combination of immigration and natural population growth.

Variations of the surname Walts

The surname Walts is derived from Old German and Old English words meaning “foreigner” and “ruler” respectively. The variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin include Waltz, Walz, Waltes, Walter, Walther, Walters, Walten, Wald, Welte and Welter.

Walts, phonetically transcribed as “walll-tz” differs from the surname Waltz transcribed “wall-tz”. Both are derived from the same Old German roots - Wahl, meaning “foreigner” and Teud, meaning “ruler”. The original spelling would likely have been Waltz or Walz but due to local pronunciations and transcription errors the variant spelling Walts developed.

Walter was likely the first surname to develop from this root and, as this was the surname of the Dutch founders of New Amsterdam, many of its variant spellings are found in records of early American colonies. That being said, Walts is a surname found primarily in North America due to its reputation as a 'Yankee' name.

The spelling variants of Walts are few yet noteworthy. Most notable are Welter and Welte which appear in large numbers in areas such as Germany, Netherlands and South Africa. Despite its German roots, this surname is relatively rare in Germany itself.

Given its reputation as a 'Yankee' surname, it is not surprising that the most common spelling variant of Walts remains Walter. Variant spellings of Walter include Walten, Waltes, Walther, Walters and Wald.

In conclusion, despite the unusual spelling, the surname Walts has a rich and colourful history. The number of variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin suggest both the diversity in places to which this name has spread and the longevity of the family lineage.

Famous people with the name Walts

  • Walt Disney: co-founder of The Walt Disney Company.
  • Bill Walt: American composer, jazz pianist, and band leader.
  • Chris Walsh: former professional American football player.
  • Akio Watanabe: Japanese musician, composer, and producer.
  • Steve Walt: Australian politician.
  • Melinda Walt: Canadian novelist.
  • Caroline Waltz: American singing star of the 1960s.
  • Walt Mossberg: American technology journalist and commentator.
  • Walt Miller: Australian footballer.
  • Walt Frazier: American basketball Hall of Fame player.
  • Justin Walts: Canadian professional hockey player.
  • Walt Belcher: American football quarterback, coach, and college athletics administrator.
  • Walt Dizney: American actress, songwriter, and actor.
  • Robert W. Walts: American film producer, writer, and director.
  • Naresh Walts: Indian actor, director, and producer.
  • Estée Lauder: American businesswoman, founder of Estée Lauder Cosmetics.
  • Pat Walts: Blues musician and songwriter.
  • Marv Walts: American Major League Baseball player.
  • Eddy Walts: creator of the Character Waltzing Matilda.
  • Seeley Walts: British fashion writer and former actress.

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