Is Walters a Jewish Surname?

Some Jews question your Jewishness if you don’t have a traditional European sounding name.

Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters was born in Boston to two Jewish parents. Her father’s name was Louis Walters (born Louis Abrahams); he was commonly referred to by just “Lou”.  Barbara Walters’ paternal grandfather, Isaac Abrahams, was born in ?ód?, Poland, and emigrated to England, changing his name to Abraham Walters. The original family surname was Warmwasser, which actually means “warm water”.

In America, and most of the world, the surname comes from the father. While in Orthodox Judaism, your Jewishness comes from your mother. So if a person were born to a Gentile father and a Jewish mother, that child would be Jewish.

So when people say Walters is not a Jewish name, they are just wrong.  It might not be a traditional old-world sounding Jewish name, but the person can be just as Jewish as Moses.


Neal Walters


I’m actually no relation to Barbara Walters, but I’ve always enjoyed her interviews and remember her hosting the Today show when I was much younger.

The surname Walters seems to be Germanic, meaning “rule” and “army.”

There are different coat of arms for the Walters family name, here is one that I was allowed to use for personal use.




Walters – Coat of Arms

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