Last name: Chawner
This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational surname for a maker or seller of blankets. The name derives from the Middle English word "chaloun", blanket, coverlet, with the agent suffix "-er". The blankets were so named because they were first and most notably produced in the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne; the placename derives from the Latin name of the Gaulish tribe, the Catalauni, who were the first recorded inhabitants of the place. There is a note in the old records of the Winchester Fair of 1252 to the effect that "Chalons of Guildford" were bought for the king's use. The surname development includes Ralph le Chaluner (1224, Suffolk), Thomas Chalander (1485, Kent), and Thomas Chauner (1583, Staffordshire). The modern surname has a variety of forms, ranging from Challen(d)er, Challenor, Challiner and Chaloner to Channer and Chawner. Rychard Channer married Janne Wotton in London on October 21st 1582. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Chaloner, which was dated 1213, in the "Surrey Curia Rolls", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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