- This very unusual name is nethertheless well recorded particularly is London from the mid 16th Century. The origin is Olde English 'waetergefaull' from the pre 7th Century and it derives from a place in Staffordshire where the river 'hamps' disappears underground. As 'waterful', the village is first recorded is the Kings Rolls of 1201, (King John 1199 - 1216). The surname is therefore locational for one who originated from the area. The name recordings include the following example Fabie Waterfall who married the Wyllyam Sanders at St. Giles Church, Cripplegate, London, on October 23rd 1586, and Annae Waterfall, the daughter of Richardi and Mariae Waterfall, christened at Sheen, Stafford on October 24th 1678. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Waterfall, which was dated September 8th 1560, christened at St. Lawrence Jewry, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.