Show ContentsChaucer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Chaucer family

The surname Chaucer 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 Chaucer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chaucer research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1328, 1350, 1367, 1369, 1372, 1389, 1390, 1399, 1400, 1405, 1407, 1409, 1411, 1413, 1414, 1421, 1422, 1425, 1427, 1429, 1430, 1434, 1437, 1447, 1513 and 1524 are included under the topic Early Chaucer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chaucer Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Chaucer include Chaucer, Chawcer, Chawcers and others.

Early Notables of the Chaucer family

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, mistr...
  • Chaucer sat for Oxfordshire in the parliaments of 1400-1, 1402, 1405-6, 1407, 1409-10, 1411, 1413, 1414, 1421, 1422, 1425-6, 1427, 1429, 1430-1...

Migration of the Chaucer family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Chaucer or a variant listed above: John Chawcer who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.


Contemporary Notables of the name Chaucer (post 1700) +

  • Timothy P. Chaucer, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Milford, Connecticut, 2009 [4]


  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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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