The surname of WALTER was a baptismal name 'the son of Walter'. This personal name was introduced into England in the reign of the Confessor - the name meaning mighty army. Early records of the name mention Walterus (without surname) was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Edmund filius Walter of the County of Cambridgeshire in 1273. William Walters of the County of Staffordshire in 1327. Charles Walter was registered at Oxford University in 1598. John Walters and Grace Plumer were married at Canterbury in 1663. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. The name is also spelt WALTHER, VALTER, WALTERS and GAULTER, to name but a few.
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