Show ContentsChewning History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Chewning is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chewning family lived in Somerset. The family was originally from the area of Cheux, near Carne, Normandy. Alternatively, the name could have been from Eu in Normandy, commonly called la Ville d'Eu. [1]

Early Origins of the Chewning family

The surname Chewning was first found in Somerset, at Chew Magna, a parish, and anciently a borough and market-town, in the union of Clutton, hundred of Chew or at Chew-Stoke, a parish, in the union of Clutton, hundred of Chew. [2]

Chew Magna dates back to 1065, when it was known as Ciw and later in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Chiwe. It is named after the River Chew, which is a Celtic river name, with the affix from the Latin "magna" meaning "great." [3]

Chew Stoke recorded in the Domesday Book as Stoche, means "secondary settlement belonging to Chew. [3]

Randal de Chiw, was the first record of the family found listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1201. A couple of years later, Geoffrey Chiue was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1203. [4]

"The name of Chew has its present home in the Oundle district [of Northamptonshire]. The Chews of Dunstable, in the neighbouring county of Bedfordshire, were a notable family in the 17th century; some of them, who attained high position as London merchants, preferred to be buried in the town of their birth. One of the family was sheriff of Bedfordshire." [5]

"It has ramified strongly in America. John Chew settled in Virginia as early as 1634 (see Hotten's Lists of Emigrants.) " [6]

Early History of the Chewning family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chewning research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1623, 1744, 1810, 1790, 1766, 1744, 1798, 1810 and 1878 are included under the topic Early Chewning History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chewning Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Chew, Chewe, Chewning, Chue and others.

Early Notables of the Chewning family (pre 1700)

Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chewning Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chewning Ranking

In the United States, the name Chewning is the 9,589th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Migration of the Chewning family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Chewning or a variant listed above: John Chew and his wife Sarah, who settled in Virginia in 1623; as did Robert Chew in 1663; Ann Chew, who came to Maryland in 1670; Hannah Chew, who immigrated to Maryland in 1720.

Contemporary Notables of the name Chewning (post 1700) +

  • Eric Chewning, American businessman, veteran, former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, and current partner at McKinsey & Company
  • Dr. Richard C. Chewning, American businessman, eponym of the Chewning Award, awarded every year to a member of the Christian Business Faculty Association

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?"., on Facebook