From an Old French personal name of Germanic (Frankish) origin, derived from wald ‘rule’ + heri, hari ‘army’. This was adopted by the Normans and introduced by them to England, superseding the native Old English form, Wealdhere. It was a very popular name in medieval England, normally pronounced ‘Water’.
Swedish (also common in Finland): ornamental name of various origins.One 19th century bearer of the name, a priest, took it from the name of his home farm, Hjärtungen, translating Swedish hjärta ‘heart’ into Hebrew lev and adding the suffix -ander, a derivative Greek andr- ‘man’. In another example, the surname was taken from Levene, a place in Västergötland province.