The surname James-Wallace has a fluid history. The following is from the book “From Wexford They Came”, researched and written by Judy Wallace, page 36.
Wallace, James, James Wallace or James-Wallace?
“In compiling this book, I have found it very confusing at times to know just what names to give people. Between 1826 and 1831, William James changed his name to William James Wallace in order to inherit land from this mother’s side of the family.
He and his wife appear to have used ‘Wallace’ as their surname – not ‘James Wallace’. While William changed his name to ‘Wallace’, his brothers retained the surname ‘James’. All William’s children seem to have had the name ‘James Wallace’, with most just using the name Wallace for their surname.
On some official documents of Thornhill’s, his name is written as ‘James-Wallace’ and all his children retained it for their surname. However, Harry’s children dropped the ‘James’ and just kept ‘Wallace’ as their surname.
It has been difficult to know when and when not to include the hyphen, and I hope not too many mistakes have been made. Some of Harry’s descendants have the name ‘James’ and as a given name, and it is to be hoped that future generations will keep up this tradition.
On an association with Sir William Wallace
The William Wallace of the 1700s (Dublin, Ireland) claimed descent from the Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace – however, as Sir William did not have any descendants, William of Dublin could have descended from one of his brothers.
On the movie ‘Braveheart’
Whilst I will admit I have watched this over 10 times and have used part of the movie in a failed acting career monologue, I now find the movie so misrepresentative of history that I can no longer contemplate watching it.