Chawk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain were the first to use the name of Chawk. The name had a practical origin since it came from when its initial 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." [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been a topographic name for "someone who lived on a patch of chalk soil." [1] And finally, another source presumes that the name was "well known earth; a locality. Chalk, Saxon, a servant or attendant." [2]

Early Origins of the Chawk family

The surname Chawk was first found in 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." [3]

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 [4] in the 10th century and as Celca [5] in the Domesday Book. "The church is very ancient, and has various figures carved over the entrance, the origin and meaning of which have caused much controversy." [6]

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. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list William Choc in Shropshire. Kirby's Quest noted Reginald Chock in Somerset, 1 Edward III. [7] [8]

Important Dates for the Chawk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chawk research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1624, 1600, 1767, 1600, 1683, 1675 and 1741 are included under the topic Early Chawk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chawk 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 Chawk include Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk and many more.

Early Notables of the Chawk family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Chalkhill ( fl. 1600), poet, was the author of a work which was published under the title of 'Thealma and Clearchus. A Pastoral History in smooth and easie Verse. Written long since by John Chalkhill, Esq., an Acquaintant and Friend of Edmund Spencer,' London, 1683, 8vo. [9] Thomas Chalkley (1675-1741), English Quaker, was the son of George Chalkley, a Quaker tradesman in Southwark, was sent to a day school when nine years old. "Chalkley was fond of gambling till, when he was ten years old...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chawk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Chawk 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 Chawk 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.

Citations

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  9. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
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