Show ContentsChau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Chau family

The surname Chau was first found in Kent.

"The family of Chaucer, Chaucier, Chaucers, or Chasur had been seated in the Eastern Counties, and some members were in trade in London. Richard le Chaucer was of London, 1328; John Chaucer in 1349 (Riley, Liber Albus, 438; Nicholas, Life of Chaucer, 94). The poet was probably kinsman of Bartholomew Chaucer, who possessed estates in Cambridge, Hunts, Herts, and Essex, 1312. In 1295 Gerard le Chaucer was of Colchester, Essex, and 1274 Alice de Chasar occurs as a tenant of the See of Ely in Cambridgeshire . In 1225 Ralph le Chauser is mentioned." [1]

"This surname is derived from an occupation. 'le chaucer,' a maker of chausses, i.e. leathern breeches; Latin, caleearius. Chaucer's grandfather was connected with Ipswich." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include Roger Calcwere, Norfolk.

Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400), known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.

"Much of the obscurity that once involved Chaucer's parentage has been dispelled by the industry of Sir Harris Nicolas, Dr. Furnivall, land others. He was the son of a London vintner. " [3]

Early History of the Chau family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chau research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1367, 1434, 1367, 1399, 1400, 1405, 1407, 1409, 1411, 1413, 1414, 1421, 1422, 1425, 1427, 1429, 1430 and 1407 are included under the topic Early Chau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chau Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Chau has been recorded under many different variations, including Chaucer, Chawcer, Chawcers and others.

Early Notables of the Chau family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Chaucer (c. 1367-1434), Speaker of the House of Commons, in all likelihood elder son of Geoffrey Chaucer by his wife Philippa, daughter of Sir Payne Roet and sister of Catherine Swnyford, mistress and afterwards wife of John, duke of Lancaster, was probably born in 1367. Early in life he married Matilda, second daughter and coheiress of Sir John Burghersh, nephew of Henry Burghersh, Bishop of Lincoln, treasurer and chancellor of the Kingdom. His marriage brought him large estates, and among them the manor of Ewelme, Oxfordshire. It is evident that his connection with the...
Another 165 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chau Ranking

In the United States, the name Chau is the 4,402nd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [4] However, in France, the name Chau is ranked the 5,057th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [5]

United States Chau migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Chau or a variant listed above:

Chau Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joaquina Chau, aged 22, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [6]
  • P Chau, aged 36, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Chau (post 1700) +

  • Hong Chau (b. 1979), American actress and Academy Award nominee for her performance in the 2022 film The Whale. Known for her roles in Downsizing (2017), Watchmen (2019) and Homecoming (2018–2020)

  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. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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) on Facebook