Walh (singular) or Walha (plural) is an ancient Germanic word, meaning "foreigner" or "stranger" (Welsh) or "roman", German: welsch.
"This interesting name is of Scottish and northern English origin, commonly found on both sides of the Scottish border. It is an ancient ethnic name meaning 'foreigner', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century (Anglian) word 'walh', foreign, used by the Anglians of the Strathclyde Celts, the Britons, who survived as a separate group in Scotland well into the Middle Ages. The name 'Wallace' is from the same source, the word 'Waleis', and was used to denote variously Scotsmen, Welshmen and Bretons as well as the Strathclyde Britons. The first recording of the name in England is that of 'William Wahh' in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, 1379. In Scotland the Waughs of Heap in Roxburghshire held these lands from the 13th Century to the 17th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Walgh, which was dated 1296, Documents Relating to Scotland, Public Records Office, during the reign of John Balliol, King of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling."
"Few areas in Briton have produced as many notable families in world history such as the names Armstrong, Nixon, Graham, Bell, Carson, Hume, Irving, Lock, Rutherford, as the Border of England and Scotland. The family name Waugh is included in this group.
Researchers have confirmed the first documented history of this name is lowland Scotland and northern England, tracing it through many ancient manuscripts, including private collections of historical and genealogical records, the Inquisitio, the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, the Ragman Rolls, The Hearth Rolls, the Domesday Book, parish cartularies, baptismals, and tax rolls. The first record of the name Waugh was found in Dumfriessshire where they had been seated in Wauchopedale from about the year 1249. Robert de Wauchope was one of twelve knights who negotiated the law of the border territories in 1249.
Different spellings of the name were found in the archives researched, typically linking each alternate to the root of the surname. The surname Waugh occurred in many references, from time to time the surname was spelt Waugh, Wauchope, Waughe, Walge, Wach, Walcht, and these changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials recorded the name from its sound.
The family name Waugh is believed to be descended originally from the Strathclyde Britons. This ancient, founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the south, northward to the north bank of the River Clyde in Scotland.
Tracing its ancient development, the name Waugh was found in Lanarkshire. The abbreviation of Waugh created a separate branch of the clan, and David Waugh of Lanarkshire, Robert Waugh of Heap, rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. This latter person may have been the same as Robert de Wauchope who also rendered homage for the Wauchopes. The Waughs of Heap or Hope in Wilton, in Roxburgshire, held their lands from the 13th to the 17th century. Both branches of this border clan played a significant role in border life. The Wauchopes were registered in Scottish Parliament as a border clan with its own chief in 1590. Edward Waugh was forgiven his part in a murder as a follower of the Earl of Casilis. Jointly this name held many territories as far north as Aberdeen, and traded freely with England. In 1672 the principal branches were Edmiston, Niddrie and Larkhall. The name Wauchope fell out of favour in latter years. Notable amongst the family at this time was Robert de Wauchope.
In 1246, 6 chiefs from the Scottish side and 6 from the English side met at Carlisle and produced a set of laws governing all the border Clans. These were unlike any laws prevailing in England or Scotland or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world. For example, it was a far greater offence to refuse to help a neighbour recover his property, wife, sheep, cattle or horses than it was to steal them in the first place. Hence the expression 'Hot Trod' , or a hot pursuit, from which we get the modern 'Hot to Trot'. For refusal of assistance during a 'Hot Trod', a person could be hanged on the instant, without trial. Frequently, the descendants of these clans or families apologetically refer to themselves as being descended from 'Cattle or horse thieves' when, in fact, it was an accepted code of life on the border.
In 1603, the unified English and Scottish crowns under James I dispersed these 'unruly border clans, clans which had served loyally in the defense of each side. The unification of the governments was threatened and it was imperative that the old 'border code' should be broken up. Hence, the Border Clanswere banished to England, northern Scotland and to Ireland. Some were outlawed directly to Ireland, the Colonies and the New World.
Many Border Clans settled in Northern Ireland, transferred between 1650 and 1700 with grants of land provided they 'undertook' to remain protestant. Hence they became known as the 'Undertakers'. Many became proudly Irish. Five families of Waugh transferred to Ulster in Armagh.
But life in Ireland was little more rewarding and they sought a more challenging life. They looked to the New World and sailed aboard the 'White Sails' and armada of sailing ships such as the Hector, the Rambler and the Dove which struggled across the stormy Atlantic. Some ships lost 30 or 40% of their passenger list, migrants who were buried at sea having died from dysentery, cholera, small pox and typhoid.
In North America, some of the first migrants which could be considered kinsmen of the family nameWaugh and their spelling variants were Mathew Waugh, a soldier, settled in St. John's Newfoundland, in 1837; John Wauchope settled in Philadelphia in 1825; Dorothy Waugh settled in New England in 1656; James and John Waugh setled in Charles Town S.C. in 1767; William Waugh settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1788; Hele Waugh, her husband and child, settled in Savannah, Georgia, in 1820. The migrants formed wagon trains westward, rolling west to the prairies, or the west coast. During the American War of Independence those that remained loyal to the Crown moved north into Canada and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
There were many notable contemporaries of this name Waugh, Sir Patrick Wauchope, Horticulturalist; Alec Waugh, American Author; Auberon Waugh, Private Eye; Evelyn Waugh, Author.
The most ancient grant of a
Coat of Arms was: Gold with a gold wheatsheaf and at the top two gold