One of the most ancient of English names, it was originally written as FitzWalter (or filius Walter, meaning son of Walter) although it was always pronounced as Watson.
Walter is generally considered to be a Norman name. After 1066, most boys were given Norman names, William was the most popular. The letter L in Walter is silent and the name was often contracted to Watt, as in Watt Tyler who lead the revolt against Richard II. It is important to remember that Emma, the mother of Edward the Confessor was Norman and there were Normans at the English court before 1066.
One of the Domesday commisioners was Walter Clifford and the major landowners included Walter de Douai, Walter of Flanders, Walter de Lacy and Walter, Abbot of St. Mary's of Evesham. In 1086, Lincolnshire was one of the most densely populated areas with more that 10 people per square mile. There are entries for Carlton le Moorland, Leadenham and Fulbeck in The Domesday Book.
Family names were not generally established until the fourteenth century. Miles FitzWalter of HEREFORD who died 24 DEC 1143 was the son of Walter FitzRoger of GLOUCESTER. Eudu FitzHubert (Domesday book) was the youngest of four sons of Hubert of Ryes. Willian FitzNigel was the ancestor of Lacy earls of Lincoln.
Baron Robert FitzWalter was leader of the Magna Charta Barons and their Army, styled "Marshal of the Army of God and the Holy Church." In 1218, he joined a Crusade and took part in the famous siege of Damietta. In 1234, Robert FitzWalter, a Baron of illustrious race, and renowned in feats of arms, went the way of all flesh. His children included a son, Walter FitzRobert and a daughter, Matilda the Fair was called "Maid Marion".
My family is descended from yeoman farmers from Fulbeck and Leadenham. They may have moved there from Carlton le Moorland during the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century they moved to Nottingham, Plymouth and finally Australia - working as joiners and skilled carpenters.
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