(WILLIAM) WALLACE (m): WALLACE derives from Anglo-Norman waleys [many variant spellings] which can mean a person from Wales; a person from the Welsh Marches; or a Scottish or other British person speaking one of the many Celtic languages then available.
The story of Sir William Wallace’s rise against the incursions of the English King Edward I (1239-1307, king from 1272) had great appeal, especially with the Romantic movement, which in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw a boom in everything Scottish. The Scottish Chiefs (1810) by Jane Porter (1776–1850) was one of the most popular early historical novels; its treatment of Sir William Wallace is romantic and sentimental, but a rousing read.
A look at the 1850 U.S. census shows approximately sixty men with the first and middle names William Wallace. They include William Wallace Dutton (b. abt. 1830 ) of Chelsea, Vermont; William Wallace McCall (b. abt. 1835) of Saratoga Springs, New York; and William Wallace Harrison (b. abt. 1820) of Paterson, New Jersey. There were likely many other William Wallaces whose full names were not listed in the census.