Clan Wallace - History - Origins of The Clan

Origins of The Clan

The Wallace family first came to Scotland with a Norman family in the 11th century. King David was eager to extend the benefits of Norman influence and gave grants to the nobles of the south. Among them was Walter Fitzallan, who the Scottish king appointed his Steward in 1136. One of Fitzallan's followers was Richard Wallace from Oswestry who came north to try and improve his fortunes. Oswestry is on the Welsh border so it is possible that the name Wallace may be a corruption of Le Waleis meaning the "Welshman".

Lord Fitzallan received from King David lands in Ayrshire and so it was here that his follower Richard Wallace settled. Richard Wallace was granted his own estate in Kyle, where it is claimed that his name Richard is still remembered in the placename of the village of Riccarton.

While tradition claims Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie as the father of three sons, Malcolm, John, and William Wallace, the seal of William Wallace, rediscovered in 1999, identifies William as the son of Alan Wallace of Ayrshire, who appears in the Ragman Roll of 1296 as "crown tenant of Ayrshire". Dr. Fiona Watson in "A Report into Sir William Wallace's connections with Ayrshire", published in March 1999, reassesses the early life of William Wallace and concludes, "Sir William Wallace was a younger son of Alan Wallace, a crown tenant in Ayrshire".

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