This unusual and interesting surname is a diminutive of Calle, which is of Spanish origin, and is from a topographical name for someone who lived beside a narrow path or a cattle track, derived from the Spanish "calle", originally from the Latin "callis", meaning a stony footway, foot-path, mountain-path, or pass. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In modern Spanish "calle" is the normal name for a street, but at the time when surnames were being formed it referred to something rather more modest. The modern surname can be found recorded as Calle and Calles, and the diminutives include Calleja and Callejo. Recordings from Spanish Church Registers include the marriages of Mariana Calleja and Domingo Gonzalez Papin, on March 25th 1692 at Bercero, Valladolid, and of Antonio Calleja and Maria Crespo, on July 16th 1712, also at Valladolid. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maria Calle, which was dated September 2nd 1563, christened at Nuestra Senora la Antigua, Valladolid, Spain, during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain, 1556 - 1598. 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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