Challacombe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Challacombe family

The surname Challacombe was first found in Devon at Challacombe, a parish, in the union of Barnstaple, hundred of Sherwill. The name Challacombe literally means "cold valley", having been derived from the Old English words ceald ('cold') and cumb ('valley'). [1]

Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Challacombe held by a steward of the Geoffri de Mowbray, Bishop of Coutance, a powerful Norman noble who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. [2]

Hugh de Chaucombe ( fl. 1200), was an early English justiciar, "probably born at Chalcombe in Northamptonshire; at least, it is certain that it was from that place that he received his surname. He is first mentioned in 1108, in the Great Roll of Henry II, as having paid 30l. for relief of six knights' fees in the diocese of Lincoln, in which Chalcombe was then included." [3]

Challacombe (1902-1917) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire named after the village.

Early History of the Challacombe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Challacombe research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Challacombe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Challacombe Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Chalacombe, Challacombe, Chalcombe, Chalcum, Chalcumbe, Chalcumb, Challacumb and many more.

Early Notables of the Challacombe family (pre 1700)

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


United States Challacombe migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Challacombe or a variant listed above:

Challacombe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Challacombe, who settled in Stafford, Genesee County, NY in 1833
  • John Challacombe, who landed in New York in 1838 [4]
  • Nicholas Challacombe, who was naturalized in Madison county, Illinois in 1847

Contemporary Notables of the name Challacombe (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Wesley Challacombe, American a faculty member at Blackburn College Illinois from 1894 to 1957
  • John R. Challacombe, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1904 [5]
  • William Allen Nicholas Challacombe (1863-1951), Oxford graduate, and curate


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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