This interesting and unusual surname, is found widespread in Northumberland, derives from the Germanic personal name "Gal(on)", which was introduced into England by the Normans. This personal name was originally composed of two distinct names which have fallen together "gail", cheerful and the other was a nickname from the element "walh", meaning stranger, foreigner. The surname is also found in France where many Germanic elements are found. The name itself first appears in the early 13th Century (see below).
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