Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Dr Emma Waltham
Since 2012 I have compiled a list of all mentions of 'Waltham' in the parish registers, and the 1841 and 1851 census, in Lincolnshire, in an effort to build family trees of all Lincolnshire Waltham families living in the 1700s and the first half of the 19th century. I embarked on this to help with a brick wall in my family tree. By developing an understanding of how the various Walthams of Lincolnshire were related in the 1700s and further back I hoped to establish where my great, great, great, great, great grandfather John Waltham fitted in. I now have several family trees for Lincolnshire Waltham families that are not complete and verified, but are a starting point for a Waltham one-name study, which I intend to expand upon over the coming years, in the hope that I can trace the origin of the surname.
From looking at the prevalence of the Waltham surname in parish registers and wills over time, it seems most likely that the origin of the surname in its Lincolnshire heartland was Waltham near Grimsby.
There are many settlements named Waltham in England, however, and so it could be that the name has more than one origin. There was a family of Walthams in the West Country, for example, which do not seem to be related to the Lincolnshire Walthams. The Waltham coat of arms relates to that branch.
John de Waltham was Bishop of Salisbury circa 1375; he is buried in Westminster Abbey, where there is a brass rubbing of him. He was from the Grimsby area.
Johannes de Waltham lived in Skirbeck Wapentake in 1381 (source Carolyn C. Fenwick’s The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381: Part 2 Lincolnshire-Westmorland) who was married to Matilda (p. 22). Another Waltham mentioned in Lincolnshire is Robertus Waltham of Bradley Wapentake, 1377 (p. 44).
According to the 1841 census, there were 368 people recorded in England and Wales with the surname Waltham. Of these a third lived in Lincolnshire, with 17% in London. There was a cluster in Yorkshire, with 13% of incidences recorded there. There were other smaller clusters in Northamptonshire and Somerset.
Parish registers of Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire 1841-1911 census records
Various contemporary sources such as indentures, poor law records, wills, trade directories, electoral rolls, land tax records and civil registration certificates
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