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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Chalk family come from? When did the Chalk family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Chalk family history?

Chalk is an Anglo-Saxon name. The name was originally given to a whitewasher. Medieval buildings weren't painted, for paint was very expensive in the Middle Ages. Instead, they were whitewashed; covered in a paint-like emulsion of lime. It served to protect the houses against water, as well as look better. However, it didn't last very long; houses needed to be whitewashed at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. A "chalker" was a professional whitewasher; the name was originally derived from the Old English word cealcian, which meant "to whiten."


One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Chalk has appeared include Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk and many more.

First found in Kent, where "this name is principally found, there are [is] a parish and a hundred so designated, and there is also in county Wiltshire, a parish called Broad-Chalk." [1] More recently, Chalk is a suburb which adjoins the east of Gravesend, Kent. The place name is derived from the Old English word Cealc and was listed as Cealca [2] in the 10th century and as Celca [3] in the Domesday Book. "The church is very ancient, and has various figures carved over the entrance, the origin and meaning of which have caused much controversy." [4]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chalk research. Another 273 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 162 and 1624 are included under the topic Early Chalk History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Chalk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Chalk arrived in North America very early:

Chalk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Joseph Chalk, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Jo Chalk, aged 25, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Francis Chalk, who landed in Maryland in 1658

Chalk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Peter Chalk, aged 23, arrived in Virginia in 1773
  • Steven Chalk, who arrived in Virginia in 1774

Chalk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Chalk, who was naturalized in New York in 1806
  • Thomas Chalk, who arrived in New York in 1825
  • Bella Chalk, aged 24, who landed in America from Burton on Trau, in 1892
  • Walter Chalk, aged 38, who emigrated to America, in 1893
  • Ellen Chalk, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1896

Chalk Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Henry R. Chalk, aged 37, who settled in America from London, England, in 1907
  • George Edmund Chalk, aged 40, who landed in America from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1907
  • Gertrude Alice Chalk, aged 32, who settled in America from Malvern, England, in 1907
  • Edgar Ells Chalk, aged 31, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1908
  • Alfred Chalk, aged 21, who landed in America from Christepurth, England, in 1908

Chalk Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Edmd Chalk, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Chalk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Robert Chalk, who was recorded in the 1871 census of Ontario

Chalk Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Joseph Chalk, aged 24, who emigrated to Catalina, Newfoundland in 1917

Chalk Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Hannah Chalk arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Gipsy Queen" in 1850


  • Al Chalk (b. 1990), African American voice actor and actor, known for his work in In Living Color, Five Men and a Limo (1997) and Story of a People: The Black Road to Hollywood
  • Peter Chalk, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly 126th District, 1966
  • Margaret Chalk, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1948
  • Henry P. Chalk, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Bassorah, 1905-06
  • Harold Chalk, American politician, Candidate for University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1939; Candidate for Michigan State Auditor General, 1944
  • Oscar Roy Chalk (1907-1995), English-born, New York financier and entrepreneur who owned real estate, airlines, bus companies, newspapers and more
  • David Lee Chalk (b. 1950), American former Major League Baseball player who played from 1973 to 1981
  • Robin Chalk (b. 1981), English film and stage actor, best known for his role as Neil Kellerman in the West End production of Dirty Dancing
  • Frederick Gerald Hudson "Gerry" Chalk DFC (1910-1943), English cricketer
  • Gary Chalk (b. 1952), English illustrator and model-maker




  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 9 October 2015 at 10:57.

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