This most interesting surname is mainly of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has four possible interpretations. It may be a topographical name for one who lived by a stone-built wall, such as that around a town or sea-wall, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "w(e)all", wall. From this source also, it may be an occupational name for a stone worker or mason. The second origin is also a topographical one, from the Olde English "waell(a)", a spring or stream, denoting someone who lived at or by a stream. The third possible origin is from the Olde English "wealan", to boil, which was probably given to one who boiled sea water to extract the salt. Finally, it may be a nickname for a "good humoured person", from the Norman word "wall(i)er", cheerful, merry. Richard Waller (1395 - 1462) was sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1434 and of Kent in 1438, and an official of Henry V1 1450 - 1458 and Edward 1V in 1461. Interesting namebearers include Sir William Waller (1597 - 1668), a parliamentary general who, after a distinguished part in the English Civil War, urged making terms with Charles 1st in 1648. Later, he sat on the council of state and urged Charles 11's recall. Augustus Volney Waller (1816 - 1870) was Professor of Physiology at Birmingham and invented the degeneration method of studying the paths of nerve impulses. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Waliere, which was dated 1185, in the "Records of the Templars in England (Kent)", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.
Occupational name for 'the Waller' or someone who builds walls, a mason. A mason is still a 'Waller' in Furness, North Lanc.