This interesting surname is an occupational name for a singer, chorister or precentor, deriving from the Middle English, Anglo-French "chantour", Old French "chantroir" meaning "enchanter or magician". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Walter le Chauntur (1285) witness, "The Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire". Church recordings include Mary Chanter who married George Crane on February 23rd 1663 at Hadley, London, Rutha, daughter of Ruilielmi and Aliciae Chanter, was christened on September 5th 1675, at St.Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and Noble Chanter was christened on November 21st 1697, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. Joyce Chanter married Edward Smart at St. Georges, Hanover Square, London, on April 29th 1735, and Laurence Chanter was christened in St. Pancras, London on December 4th 1756. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh le Chantur, which was dated 1235, in the "Liber Feodorum of Leicestershire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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