Chalk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Chalk can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a name for 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." [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been a topographic name for "someone who lived on a patch of chalk soil." [1] And finally, another source presumes that the name was "well known earth; a locality. Chalk, Saxon, a servant or attendant." [2]

Early Origins of the Chalk family

The surname Chalk was first found in Kent, in the parish of Chalk, in the union of North Aylesford, hundred of Shamwell where "this name is principally found, there is a parish and a hundred so designated, and there is also in county Wiltshire, a parish called Broad-Chalk." [3]

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 [4] in the 10th century and as Celca [5] 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." [6]

The first record of the family was Walter de Chelka who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire in 1177. Ralph de Chalke was later found in Cheshire in 1268 and William atte Chalke was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list William Choc in Shropshire. Kirby's Quest noted Reginald Chock in Somerset, 1 Edward III. [7] [8]

Early History of the Chalk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chalk research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1624, 1600, 1767, 1600, 1683, 1675 and 1741 are included under the topic Early Chalk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chalk Spelling Variations

Chalk has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Chalk have been found, including Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk, Caulke, Kalke and many more.

Early Notables of the Chalk family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Chalkhill (fl. 1600), poet, was the author of a work which was published under the title of 'Thealma and Clearchus. A Pastoral History in smooth and easie Verse. Written long since by John Chalkhill, Esq., an Acquaintant and Friend of Edmund Spencer,' London, 1683, 8vo. [9] Thomas Chalkley (1675-1741), English Quaker, was the son of George Chalkley, a Quaker tradesman in Southwark, was sent to a day school when nine years old. "Chalkley was fond of gambling till, when he was ten years old...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chalk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chalk Ranking

In the United States, the name Chalk is the 12,083rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [10]


United States Chalk migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Chalks to arrive on North American shores:

Chalk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Chalk, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Jo Chalk, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [11]
  • Francis Chalk, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [11]
Chalk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Chalk, aged 23, who arrived in Virginia in 1773 [11]
  • 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 [11]
  • Mr. Samuel Chalk, (b. 1802), aged 30, Cornish joiner departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [12]
  • Bella Chalk, aged 24, who landed in America from Burton on Trau, in 1892
  • Walter Chalk, aged 38, who immigrated to America, in 1893
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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 immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1908
  • Alfred Chalk, aged 21, who landed in America from Christepurth, England, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Chalk migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 immigrated to Catalina, Newfoundland in 1917

Australia Chalk migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Chalk Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Chalk, (b. 1810), aged 21, English sawyer who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 26 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 3rd October 1831, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1874 [13]
  • Hannah Chalk, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Gipsy Queen" in 1850 [14]
  • Mr. Robert Chalk, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 27th August 1852, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [15]

Contemporary Notables of the name Chalk (post 1700) +

  • Al Chalk (b. 1990), 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
  • 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
  • Peter Chalk, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly 126th District, 1966 [16]
  • Margaret Chalk, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1948 [16]
  • Henry P. Chalk, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Bassorah, 1905-06 [16]
  • Harold Chalk, American politician, Candidate for University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1939; Candidate for Michigan State Auditor General, 1944 [16]
  • Sir James Jell Chalk (1803-1878), English Secretary to the Ecclesiastical Commission, second son of James Chalk of Queenborough in Kent [17]
  • 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
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald George Chalk (1921-1939), British Signalman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [18]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  9. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  10. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  11. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  14. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GIPSY QUEEN 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850GipsyQueen.htm
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  17. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 25 Nov. 2019
  18. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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