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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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Alternatively, the name could have been a topographic name for "someone who lived on a patch of chalk soil." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
And finally, another source presumes that the name was "well known earth; a locality. Chalk, Saxon, a servant or attendant." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print


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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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
in the 10th century and as Celca [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

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

Chalk has been spelled many different ways, including 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. Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chalk research. Another 333 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1624, 1600 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Chalk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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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, 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
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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Citations



  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. ^ Lowe, 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.

Other References

  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Chalk Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chalk Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 July 2016 at 08:47.

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