Anglo-Saxon name Chaulklay comes from when its first bearer worked as 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Alternatively, the name could have been a topographic name for "someone who lived on a patch of chalk soil." CITATION[CLOSE]
Early Origins of the Chaulklay family
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
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 CITATION[CLOSE]
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. CITATION[CLOSE]
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list William Choc in Shropshire. Kirby's Quest noted Reginald Chock in Somerset, 1 Edward III. CITATION[CLOSE]
Early History of the Chaulklay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chaulklay research.
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Chaulklay 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 Chaulklay include Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk and many more.
Early Notables of the Chaulklay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Chaulklay family to the New World and Oceana
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 Chaulklay or a variant listed above: Joseph Chalk, who settled in Virginia in 1635; as did John Chalkley in 1732; Thomas Chalkley, who immigrated to New England in 1735; Steven Chalk, who arrived in Virginia in 1774.
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