Chalke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Chalke has been recorded in British history since the time when the Anglo-Saxons ruled over the region. The name is assumed to have been given to someone who was 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 Chalke family

The surname Chalke 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 Chalke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chalke 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 Chalke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chalke Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Chalke has been spelled many different ways, including Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk and many more.

Early Notables of the Chalke 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 Chalke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Chalke migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Chalkes to arrive in North America:

Chalke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Fra Chalke, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [10]
  • Gabriell Chalke, who landed in Maryland in 1672 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Chalke (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Chalke (b. 1948), English author and publisher, founder of Fairfield Books
  • Herbert Davis Chalke OBE (1897-1979), British physician known for his work in the fields of social medicine and medical history, founding editor-in-chief of the medical journal Alcohol and Alcoholism
  • Anthony Chalke, British fencer who competed in the individual sabre event at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • Stephen John "Steve" Chalke MBE (b. 1955), British Baptist minister, the founder of the Oasis Charitable Trust
  • Sarah Chalke (b. 1976), Canadian actress from Ottawa, Ontario, best known for portraying Dr. Elliot Reid on the NBC/ABC comedy series Scrubs


  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.
  9. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  10. ^ 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)


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