The Walders were among the last people to conquer England.
We crossed the Channel in 1066 with William of Normandy, who men later called the Conqueror. It wasn't a day trip, we had come to stay.
The first battle, at Senlac near Hastings, was the bloodiest. But we put the English to flight and left their Lord, Harold Godwin, dead on the field: an arrow through the eye. Later the great Abbey of Battle was built upon the site.
Not that we were noblemen, you understand, riding fine horses and wearing plate armour. We were foot soldiers, lucky if we had a chain mail shirt apiece and a sharp axe to fight with.
Once we had subdued the land came the time to share out the spoils of war. When was it ever otherwise?
We had liked the look of the land near where our boats first grounded on the Saxon shore. The fields were fertile, the forest was fruitful and there was warmth enough for vinyards to flourish.
We were granted a tenure on the edge of the Weald: that great swathe of impenetrable woodland that ran east to west from Kent to Sussex dividing London from the southern coast. From it we took our name: Wealder - meaning 'He who inhabits the forest'.
Centuries passed but the Walders stayed close to where we knew. Our numbers grew. But by the early 1800s most could still be found near to the Weald between Walderslade in Kent and Walderton in West Sussex near the Hampshire borders.
Some. more adventurous than most, had moved from Midhurst way and crossed over to the Isle of Wight where, by Victorian times, they seemed to own half the land in Ventnor.
But we weren't aristocrats, you understand, mostly small farmers and builders and carpenters and the like. Though by medieval times a Walder had succeeded in becoming Lord Mayor of London.
My own branch of the family, which somehow acquired the minority spelling of Wallder, ended up living in Portsea, the old part of the ancient port of Portsmouth. Perhaps they couldn't afford the fare over to the Isle of Wight.
My Aunt Maud, a seamstress who died in her 90s, used to go on endlessly at family gatherings about the first Wallder who walked to London from Portsmouth. But nobody was really interested. And when I eventually was it was, alas, too late. Maud was bordering on the ga-ga and had forgotten the lot.
We settled into the Covent Garden/Soho area of central London. Still mostly printers assistants and cardboard box makers and carpenters.
I still have two fine saws that bear the initials of my grandfather Donald who lived in Drury Lane. His father was a coachman and his father William, according to the census of 1851, was a 'comedian'. Well, it made me smile a century and a half later. You don't find too many 'comedians'listed in the 1851 census.
My grandfather had a brother 'Watty' who lived near Euston Station. He was the only one of our family in the twentieth century who had to shed the bitter tears of losing a son in war. Walter Wallderdied during the Great War in 1918 just a few months before the guns fell silent: the only Wallder recorded on the Roll of Honour of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
We came through the Second World War unscathed though, just as we did at Hastings in 1066.
During that war my Uncle Jim, who lived in Soho, was Head of the Heavy Rescue Squad for Westminster. His job was to pull people from the ruins of burning buildings in the Blitz.
He could never eat roast pork again after that. Beef, lamb and chicken yes, but pork never.
Uncle Jim's claim to fame was that he was the very first person ever to appear on television.
He was the delivery boy with the bicycle who happened to call at John Logie Baird's house in Frith Street, Soho, at a critical time in the invention of TV. He was paid a shilling to sit in front of the camera in one room whilst Baird huuried to the next room to watch his image appear on the flickering screen.
When Jim Wallder died in 1984 the London Evening Standard retold the story. So it must be true.
This, then, is a small part of the story of the Walders who today have spread out across the land and over the seas.
But if a Saxon bowman in 1066 had fired his arrow two thumb's breadths to the left, or two to the right, there might have been even less to tell.