William John Walls|
(ca 1835 - ca 1890)
(Jun 1829 - 6 May 1910)
Irish Origins 1 & 2
The Walls (de BhaI, Norman-French: de Valle, de Val, de Vale, de Vaal, de Wale, Wall - meaning of the Vale or valley) descend from the Norman, William de Valle, who came to Ireland with Richard de Glare, Earl of Pembroke, alias Strongbow, in 1172. William had four grandsons, each of whom founded families in various parts of the country between Waterford and Tipperary. In 1335 two of them, John de Vale and Walter de Vale, accompanied Sir John D'Arcy, the Chief Justiciary, on an expedition to Scotland. By the sixteenth century branches of the family were settled throughout the counties of Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork, Limerick and Galway. In Galway they formed a distinct clan or sept in the Gaelic way, with a "chief of the name." Some of these were known as Faltagh (Faltach), a case-form of de Bhal in Gaelic. The Limerick branch held the manor of Dunmoylan from the thirteenth century down to 1580, when Ulick de Wale, though blind from birth, was put to death by the Englishman Pelham, who confiscated his lands. The head of the Limerick branch was known as An Faltach, which means "The chief of the Walls."
Today the name has become 'Wall' or 'Walls'.
In Great Britain in 1881 the Walls have 4 centers of population: London, Yorkshire, Lowland Scotland and Northern Scotland.
|Poor Law Union||Magherafelt|
|Roman Catholic Parish||
St Trea's Church, Newbridge Parish and
St Patrick's Church, Ballinderry Parish
|Today||Mahgherafelt District Council|
Little is known about the Walls family in Ballymaguigan prior to 1800.
The earliest known Walls seems to have been Henry (ca 1740/50 - ), possibly father of Hugh (?-?) (the father of Red Henry) and Patrick (1775-1837).
The Walls family in Ballymaguigan, Derry 3 believe that the name originated with two brothers, Norman Yeomen, who settled on each side of the Moyola River at Ballymaguigan Waterfoot and Creagh Waterfoot.
This probably dates the Walls arrival in Ireland to the period of English settlement in Derry in the 17th or early 18th century. Perhaps they were settled during the Plantation in the 1620s with the Salters company settlement in that area? 4
This, in my opinion, is backed up by the 1848 Griffiths Valuation which had 64 Walls and 923 Wall households in Ireland 5. 44 of the 64 Walls lived in Londonderry and another 13 further west in Tyrone, Donegal etc. The Wall households were mainly in the South - especially Cork, Waterford, Tipperary and Kilkenny.
I feel that this clear separation of names points to the Walls being of separate origin to the Wall / de Vale family and not a spelling variant as most sources suppose.
The third possibility - that they are Scottish settlers seems most unlikely. The Scots were mainly settled in Antrim and south Tyrone rather than Derry. If the Walls were Scots, I would have expected the Griffith Survey to show a concentration of families in Antrim (rather than just 5 of the 64) rather than Derry.
The most likely origin, therefore, is that they were English settlers and probably originally of the same Anglo-Norman origin as the Irish de Vale's.