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In his English Surnames, An Essay on Family Nomenclature, Mark Antony Lower said that the Walker surname signifies an officer whose duty consisted in “walking” over or inspecting a certain space of forest grounds. Between July 1, 1837 and June 30, 1838 statistics were kept in England and Wales to identify the 60 most common surnames. Smith and Jones were first and second; Walker ranked 17th. Between 1625 and 1655 approximately 50 Walkers migrated to the Virginia Colony from England. In his Walker Chart, John Henley Walker, Sr., noted that “Major Thomas Walker who founded our line came from Staffordshire, England, probably between 1650 and 1660 and settled in Gloucester County. He had a brother John that settled in Middlesex County.”

Today there is more definite evidence that Major Thomas Walker had other relatives in the colonies. In 2010 our relative William Howard Walker participated in the Walker DNA Project that has identified over 50 unique Walker DNA groups. The project was established to create a database to determine which Walker lineages share a common ancestor. The results indicated that 12-14 generations back (the first half of the 17th Century), relatives of Major Thomas Walker lived in Charles City County and St. Peter’s Parrish, New Kent County. One was a Samuel Walker (b. 1570) of Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, England. He left England and fathered at least one son, Alexander, in the Virginia colony. Samuel’s father was a Thomas Walker. More research is being done to validate the sources. In England the counties of Staffordshire and Nottingham are near each other in the center of the country.

The DNA testing also identified our ancestors’ haplogroup. This is a genetic population group associated with early human migrations and which can today be associated with a geographic region. Our early ancestors were Northern European, mainly from the Scandinavian Countries. Scandinavians, most commonly referred to as Vikings, began invading Briton in the 7th Century. Eventually groups of them settled there and intermarried with the local population. The Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 brought additional Scandinavian bloodlines to Briton.