Challmers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Challmers is derived from the old French word "cha(u)mbre," meaning "chamber," and is thought to have originally been an occupational name for someone who worked in the private living quarters of the aristocracy.

Early Origins of the Challmers family

The surname Challmers was first found in Denbighshire where they held lands at Llewenne, granted to John de Chambre from the Earl of Lincoln, who was Constable of Chester. John was a "nobelle Normanne who entred Englaunde in ye traine of King Williaume." [1]

"We also find Chalmer in Suffolk and Worcester in the 13th century: Roger le Chalmere in the Feet of Fines for Suffolk in 1255; and Ralph le Chalmer in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1275." [2]

More often than not, the singular form of the name was in use in early days. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Walter de la Chaumbre, Lincolnshire; and Henry de la Chambre, Lincolnshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Robertas del Chaumbire; Johannes del Chaumbir; Alicia Chaumbir, maydyne; and Willelimus del Chaumbir. [3]

John A Chamber or Chamberlayne (d. 1489), the English rebel, "a knight of great influence in the north, excited the people to join the rebellion headed by Sir John Egremond in Northumberland and Durham against the heavy subsidy of 1489. Henry, earl of Northumberland, who had orders to enforce the tax, endeavoured to persuade him to cease his agitation. Chamber would not hear him, and on 20 April the earl was slain by the rebels at Cock Lodge, near Thirsk. Then Thomas, earl of Surrey, was sent to put down the insurrection. He took Chamber and utterly routed the rebels. Chamber was executed at York 'in great state,' being hanged on 'a gibbet set on a square pair of gallows 'with his chief accomplices hanging 'upon the lower story round about him.' " [4]

Early History of the Challmers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Challmers research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1219, 1240, 1351, 1472, 1556, 1528, 1571, 1624, 1582, 1560, 1633, 1560, 1583, 1588, 1658, 1628, 1628, 1726, 1796, 1775, 1592, 1609, 1593 and are included under the topic Early Challmers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Challmers Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chambers, Chalmers, Chamer, Chalmairs, Challmers and others.

Early Notables of the Challmers family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Chambers (d. 1556), the last abbot and the first Bishop of Peterborough, born at Peterborough. "He became a monk in the great Benedictine abbey of that place, and eventually elected its abbot in 1528. " [4] Robert Chambers (1571-1624?), was a Catholic divine, a native of Yorkshire, and arrived as a boy at the English college at Rheims in December 1582. [4] Sabine Chambers (1560?-1633), was a Jesuit, born in Leicestershire in or about 1560, and entered Broadgates Hall, Oxford, where he took the degrees in arts, that of master being completed in 1583...
Another 144 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Challmers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Challmers family to Ireland

Some of the Challmers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 318 words (23 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Challmers family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Challmers or a variant listed above: Patrick Chalmers who settled in Virginia in 1716; Stephen Chalmers, who arrived in New Jersey in 1713; James Chambers, who settled in Virginia in 1620.



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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