Our Walter Surname & Where We Came From


Walter or Walther is a German masculine given name derived from Old High German Walthari, composed of the elements walt- (Proto-Germanic *wald-) "rule" and hari (Proto-Germanic *χarja) "army". 


Our search leans heavily on Germany. More precisely the Lower Palatinate in the southwest area of Germany. The encyclopedia states Palatinate was the name of two little countries of the old German Empire. One was called the Upper Palatinate {near Nuremberg} now part of Bavaria. The other was called the Lower, or Rhenish, Palatinate {west of Stuttgart} now part of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The earliest known Walter births took place in Palatinate, and Nordheim, Germany. Nordheim a small town about 25 miles north of Stuttgart. Invasion of the areas by armies of nearby countries in the early 1700's set the scene for migration of the Palatines away from the area.


Nordheim, Germany

Our first known ancestors to immigrate to the United States include Hans Bernard Walter, with at least two sons, in 1732. They most likely traveled down the Rhine River by boat with other Palatines to reach Rotterdam, Netherlands. They boarded the ship (Pink) Loyal Judith in Rotterdam, which travelled to Cowes, England and then on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, arriving 25 September 1732. The ship's captain was Robert Turpin.

MANIFESTS of The Ship (Pink) Loyal Judith

Pennsylvania German Pioneers; a publication of the original lists of arrivals in the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 / Archive of Ship Manifests

Hans Bernard Walter (page 78) and son Hans Conrad Walter (page 83), were listed on the ship's manifest, above.

Port of Philadelphia

Port of Philadelphia, where the (Pink) Loyal Judith arrived on September 25, 1732.