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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Chiles is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a military officer in the 10th century, probably comparable to a modern sergeant. In the Old English, it was rendered cild, which meant child. It was applied to the rank above the common soldier in that period, probably because they were in charge of "children." Later, in the 13th and 14th centuries, it came to denote a young man in training for the knighthood.

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The surname Chiles was first found in Hertfordshire. However, some of the family were found at Wanstead in Essex in later years. "The village is situated on the borders of Waltham Forest, near the main road from London to Cambridge; and is principally worthy of note as the site of Wanstead House, built in 1715, by Sir Richard (son of Sir Josiah) Child, created Viscount Castlemain in 1718, and Earl of Tylney in 1731. This splendid mansion was considerably enlarged and embellished by his descendants, and was surrounded by a very extensive park, laid out with great taste, and interspersed with gardens, pleasure-grounds, and grottos." [1]

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Chiles are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Chiles include Child, Childe, Childs, Childes and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chiles research. Another 295 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1280, 1379, 1784, 1606, 1697, 1660, 1697, 1690, 1630, 1699, 1673, 1677, 1703, 1702, 1703, 1642, 1713, 1698, 1702, 1705, 1708, 1674, 1721, 1713, 1715 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Chiles History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 249 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chiles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Chiles or a variant listed above:

Chiles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Walter Chiles, who arrived in Virginia in 1637-1638
  • Sarah Chiles, who landed in Virginia in 1640
  • Sasan Chiles, who arrived in Virginia in 1640
  • Susan Chiles, who landed in Virginia in 1640
  • Law Chiles, who arrived in Virginia in 1650


Chiles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Wm Chiles, who arrived in Virginia in 1704

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  • Rhea Chiles (1930-2015), American First Lady of the State of Florida from 1991 to 1998
  • Joseph Ballinger Chiles (1810-1885), early California pioneer and guide
  • Lois Cleveland Chiles (b. 1947), American actress and former fashion model known for her role as Dr. Holly Goodhead in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker
  • Admiral (Ret.) Henry Goodman Chiles Jr. (b. 1938), Commander in Chief, United States Strategic Command from 1994 to 1996
  • Captain Marcellus Holms Chiles (1895-1918), United States Army officer awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Lawton Mainor Chiles Jr. (1930-1998), American Democrat politician, Member of Florida State Senate, 1967-71; U.S. Senator from Florida, 1971-89; Governor of Florida, 1991-98
  • John H. Chiles, American politician, Mayor of Sullivan, Missouri, 1899-1901, 1903-07, 1909-13
  • James Chiles (1802-1883), American politician, Member of Missouri State Senate
  • Mrs. Henry C. Chiles, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1940
  • Harrell Edmonds Chiles (1910-1993), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1988

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Chiles Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chiles Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 February 2016 at 12:47.

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