Isn't Sir William Wallace father Adam?

+3 votes
Isn't Sir William Wallace father Adam Wallace. Based of his seal found im the 1990s?
WikiTree profile: William Wallace
in Genealogy Help by Joseph Putnam G2G6 Mach 2 (27.9k points)
retagged by Steven Harris
I believe the seal was actually translated to 'Alan', not 'Adam'.
Yes you are correct. Wikitree has his father as Malcolm.
I have added some additional tags to get the Scotland Project involved. It appears they may be working on the lineage, so they will be the best to communicate with on this profile.
Thank you very much.
I have read a book on him lately and his father waas Alan

5 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
The name of William Wallace's father is contested.  Some sources indicate Alan, while others suggest Malcolm.  The profile is currently under review and will be updated soon.
by Amy Gilpin G2G6 Pilot (220k points)
selected by Bobbie Hall
Thank you.
According to, William Wallace's father's name was Malcolm. There seems to be conflicting info regarding his father's first name.

Among the Little we have an unproven tradition that William Wallace's in-law was a Little. And of course this forms the strongest basis for our surname origins among the Ayrshire contemporaries coming out of the Strathclyde dissolution [Clan Little Society history]:

"In Ayrshire, the Littles seem to have intermarried with Crawfords and Wallaces.  Indeed, William Wallace's mother was Margaret Crawford of Loudon, descended from a long line of Ayrshire sheriffs.  Her daughter (William's sister) perhaps married a Little with whom she produced the enigmatic Edward."

Edward, according to Blind Harry, was a nephew called "Eduuard Littil, his sistir sone so der" (Edward Little, his sister's son so dear).  He was portrayed as fighting side-by-side with William Wallace in the battles of 1296 and 1297.

Thoughts? What primary sources can one find at this point?

+2 votes
Sir William Wallace's father's name was Alan.
by Tanya Kasim G2G6 Mach 1 (18.7k points)

The Wikipedia article you cite shows that they also are not able to declare who his father was. In the Background section you'll find further detail, including:

William Wallace was a member of the lesser nobility, but little is definitely known of his family history or even his parentage. Blind Harry's late-15th-century poem gives his father as Sir Malcolm of Elderslie; however, William's own seal, found on a letter sent to the Hanse city of Lübeck in 1297,[5] gives his father's name as Alan Wallace.[6][7] This Alan Wallace may be the same as the one listed in the 1296 Ragman Rolls as a crown tenant in Ayrshire, but there is no additional confirmation.[8]

It seems that his parents are unknown, and unproven, though theories exist. 

That's a mystery to me, too. However, I did find on that his parents' names were Malcolm Wallace and Margaret Crawford. Wikipedia is sometimes useful as a launching point for research.
Does the profile provide original sources? If so, those should be sought and added to our profile.
In response to your comment on the 1296 Ragman rolls and Alan/Malcolm Wallace, a map from that time names a farm near Kilmarnock as Riccatoun. My ancestor worked at the neighbouring property, Galrigside, c.1855 which I visited in year 2005 at which time I was told that Riccatoun once belonged to William Wallace's father or grandfather. Search ancient maps of Scotland.
+7 votes, Ancestry trees, LDS IGI side, Geneanet trees, rootsweb trees... none of these are usable sources for pre-1700 profiles.   

Scotland's People,  land transaction records, wills,  POMs for medieval time, sasines, poll tax roles, and the like are all good sources for the time period.

There has been some discussion that the William Wallace seal is not that of the "Braveheart" but of someone else and that "Braveheart" may not even have really existed. While there was likely an historical figure named William Wallace the truth of the man may not fit the heroic deeds of the poem.  

See:   Morton, Graeme. "The Most Efficacious Patriot: The Heritage of William Wallace in Nineteenth-Century Scotland." The Scottish Historical Review 77, no. 204 (1998): 224-51. Accessed November 11, 2020.

(Morton is a lecturer at University of Edinburgh)  

The poem is not considered to be serious history.  It was likely written around 1478 about 200 years after the Battle of Stirling Bridge.  It is a tribute to a folk hero which means the basis of the information is at best iffy.  The text cites various historians throughout the last few centuries who questioned the accuracy of the Blind Harry poem.  "Throughout the 19th century, historians of all kinds struggled to know what to make of Harry as their source.  In the absence of certainty, it was often patriotism which sustained a reason to believe."

Blind Harry is said to have based his poem on a book by John Blair written in Latin.  There is no proof the book ever existed and it was a common contrivance to claim a Latin text to give an aire of authority used by romantic writers of the time period.

There was another William Wallace of the time period.  And he was a loyalist during the civil wars.   Sir William Wallace, baronet of Craigie.  The Wallace of Braveheart legend has been described by Joseph Bain as "scantily illustrated by historical records and has been obscured by Harry."

Also there is no historical evidence of his birth, his marriage, or any children.  Just wanted to make that clear as well.   

by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (854k points)
+1 vote
I believe Williams father was Alan and Williams grandfather was Adam on his father's side.
by Dave Miller G2G Crew (590 points)
+3 votes
William Wallace stated on his seal attached to the Lubeck letter sent following the Battle of Stirling Bridge that he was William son of Alan. Given what is said to be his level of education at the time, and being typical of the vast majority of people who know the names of their parents, it is not a major leap to believe that William's father was Alan Wallace. Malcolm was his older brother, another younger brother was named John. (Malcolm and William are mentioned by Blind Harry, John is missing.)

As to genealogy records of this modern era making claim to a Malcolm Wallace being his father, that matching up with Blind Harry's claim, that assertion and many others within Harry's book are incorrect, most notable of them being Harry's claim that William Wallace and the Scots won the Battle of Falkirk when in fact it was Edward I and the English who were the victors in that engagement. One has to wonder what Harry and/or Sir William Wallace of Craigie in the 1470s were using as sources for their details, a mere 170 years after the life of Sir William Wallace.
by Bob Wallace G2G Rookie (290 points)

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