An English surname, Walker comes from the Old English term ‘wealcere’ which referred to a person tread on raw cotton cloth to thicken it. A later reference was for an inspector of the forest land. A variation for Walker is Walkere. In northern England in Northumberland, the original surname was spelled Walkyr. Over the years the surname of Walker has spread across the country of England and into Wales. It is very common today, the 12th most common family name. In Scotland the Walker surname is concentrated in Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Angus, Dunbartonshire and Aberdeenshire. Within the United States the Walker surname covers at least half the country. Most Walker families originated in New York, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, California, Washington, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi. Famous: Alice M. Walker (a fiction writer, including ‘The Color Purple’), David M. Walker (astronaut), Marcy Walker (actress), Alice B. Walker (champion foil - fencing in the 1924 Olympics), Shannon Walker (astronaut), David G. Walker (musician and composer from England), Doak Walker (professional football player), Nancy Walker (film and television actress), George H. Walker (founder of the city of Milwaukee, Wis.), Jonathan Walker (19th century abolitionist), William Walker (Scottish football player) and Shirley Walker (music composer).