When I enter my surname, I get a response description that is well, WRONG.
For many years running now, when the public enters your webpage and uses the search surname feature and enters ‘Walser’, they are presented with the following result:
South German: habitational name for someone from Wals near Salzburg.
I have a truthful and heartfelt request that this be updated.
While this statement about Wals/Salzburg may be true, it is only true for a very small enclave of the Walser people.
I am requesting that that this familysearch.org response officially be updated.
So many sources provide detailed information on the origins of this surname.
The Swiss Government,
Swiss Cantons of Graubünden, St. Gallen, and primarily Valais were home to a surname derived from the term "Valaisan."
This surname evolved into "Wallis" in German and subsequently "Walser." In Latin, "Vallis" translates to "valley."
The Swiss Canton of Valais encompasses the renowned Matterhorn Mountain, a location where the Walser surname has been
traced back to many centuries ago. Presently, 28% of the population in this region speaks "Walser German."
The awe-inspiring and deeply Catholic village of Zermatt in Switzerland is a more than 500-700-year-old Walser settlement
nestled in the foothills of the Matterhorn. Zermatt has "Walser houses" dating back more than 500 years. Situated near Sion,
the capital of the Canton of Valais, Zermatt is representative of the Walser heritage. Sion boasts the distinction of being the
oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Switzerland. St. Theodul, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Sion, is also the patron saint of
Valais and the Walser people.
Historical documents indicate that the Swiss village of Juf holds the distinction of being the highest year-round settlement in
Europe. Its origins can be traced back to a Walser village that emerged around 1292, a time when Switzerland was taking shape
as a nation (1291). The region that we now recognize as Switzerland was introduced to Christianity in the 300s and experienced
widespread conversion by the 600s.
In Austria, there are currently two valleys, Großwalsertal and Kleinwalsertal, denoting larger and smaller respectively, which
owe their names to ethnic enclaves of the Walsers who relocated to these areas circa 1270. Notably, the Großes Walsertal
Valley has attained the esteemed status of a UNESCO biosphere reserve since November 2000. Additionally, a serene and secluded
Walser settlement named "Saint Martin" exists within the distinctive landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage site known as the
"Tectonic Arena Sardona." This settlement is situated in the canton of Saint Gallen, Switzerland. Historically, it was inhabited by
the Free Walser from around 1300 to 1652 and houses the "St. Martin" Walser church.
Douglas P Walser