Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once 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 Chork 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 Chork family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chork research.
Another 333 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1624, 1600 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Chork History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chork Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Chork include Chalk, Chaulk, Chaulke, Chaulkey, Chalke, Chalker, Chalkley, Caulk and many more.
Early Notables of the Chork family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Chork family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Chork were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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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