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WALES Family History

Recorded as Wales, Wailes, Waleis, and Walis, this most interesting and unusual surname, of early medieval English origin, has a number of possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, it may be a patronymic form of the pre 7th century Old German anbd Anglo-Saxon personal name "Walo" meaning foreigner. The cognate Anglo-Norman French terms "Waleis" and the Olde English "Wealh" also denoted a foreigner or more specifically a Celt. In various parts of Britain this term was used to describe variously Welshmen, Bretons, Strathclyde Britons, and Scotsmen.

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