Chidester History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Chidester is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chidester family lived in the city and market-town of Chichester in the hundred of Box and Stockbridge, rape of Chichester.
"This city, which is of very remote antiquity, derives the latter part of its name from its having been a Roman station, supposed to be Regnum; and the former part, from its subsequent occupation by Cissa, about the close of the fifth century. About the year 47, Flavius Vespasian, who took possession of this portion of Britain, made the place his head-quarters, and threw up an intrenchment three miles in extent, some traces of which are still apparent. Chichester was of considerable importance; but it suffered greatly from the Danes; and, at the time of the Conquest, had declined so much, that it had scarcely a hundred houses within the walls." 
Early Origins of the Chidester family
The surname Chidester was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Raleigh in that shire. Conjecturally, the family name is descended from the holder of the lands of Raleigh at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy in 1086 after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
One of the first records of the name was Hilary of Chichester (c.1110-1169), a medieval Bishop of Chichester.
About the same time, Robert Chichester (d. 1156), was Bishop of Exeter, "described without any satisfactory reason as a native of Devonshire, was Dean of Salisbury when in April 1138 he was elected Bishop of Exeter." 
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253), also known as Richard de Wych, is an English saint (canonized 1262) and former Bishop of Chichester; his translated saint's day of 16 June has been celebrated as Sussex Day since 2007.
Early History of the Chidester family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chidester research. Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1369, 1519, 1569, 1550, 1547, 1563, 1625, 1605, 1616, 1598, 1669, 1624, 1623, 1667, 1661, 1667, 1568, 1648, 1624, 1613, 1606 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Chidester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chidester Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chichester, Chister, Chichestere, Chichister and others.
Early Notables of the Chidester family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Chichester (1519-1569) English gentry from Devon, a naval captain and ardent Protestant who served as Sheriff of Devon in 1550, Knight of the Shire for Devon in 1547; and his son, Sir Arthur Chichester, 1st Baron Chichester (1563-1625), an English administrator and...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chidester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chidester family to Ireland
Some of the Chidester family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 157 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chidester migration to the United States +
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chidester or a variant listed above:
Chidester Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Louise B. Chidester, aged 43, arrived in New York in 1909 aboard the ship "Prince George" from St. George, Bermuda 
- Murray Chidester, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Ebro" from Coronel, Chile 
- George E. Chidester, aged 26, arrived in New York, N.Y. in 1920 aboard the ship "Caracas" from San Juan, Puerto Rico 
- Walter Chidester, aged 50, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "General G. W. Goethals" from Cristobal, C. Z. 
Contemporary Notables of the name Chidester (post 1700) +
- Brian Chidester, American writer who developed the Bedroom Tapes, a collection of recordings by the Beach Boys' co-founder Brian Wilson from the late 1960s and early 1970s
- Amanda Chidester (b. 1990), American softball player, member of the USA Softball Women's National Team since June 2012
- Brett Chidester (1988-2006), American teenager who committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, eponym of Brett's law, a name commonly given to a Delaware statute prohibiting use of the psychoactive herb Salvia divinorum
- James Chidester Egbert Jr. (1859-1948), American classical scholar and educator
Related Stories +
The Chidester Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Firm en foi
Motto Translation: Firm in faith.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXBW-K3L : 6 December 2014), Louise B. Chidester, 31 May 1909; citing departure port St. George, Bermuda, arrival port New York, ship name Prince George, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6ZF-3ZG : 6 December 2014), Murray Chidester, 08 Mar 1920; citing departure port Coronel, Chile, arrival port New York, ship name Ebro, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6DM-HYF : 6 December 2014), George E. Chidester, 30 Sep 1920; citing departure port San Juan, Puerto Rico, arrival port New York, N.Y., ship name Caracas, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6LH-T2J : 6 December 2014), Walter Chidester, 12 Sep 1921; citing departure port Cristobal, C. Z., arrival port New York, ship name General G. W. Goethals, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).