Recorded in many spellings throughout Europe ranging from the English Cheese, Cheeseman, Chesman, and Chisman or Chismon, to Kasmann and Kaser (Germany), Caesman (Flanders), Casari and Casiero (Italy), and Casier and Chasier (France), this is an occupational surname for a cheesemaker. As such it is or was, one of the most imnportant of the early medieval surnames. The original derivation is from the pre 7th century Anglo- Saxon and Old English 'cese' meaning cheese, but ultimately from the Roman (Latin) 'caseus'. Where the suffix 'man or mann' is used, this implies a status, in that the name holder was probably related to the original 'Cheese' or may have worked for him. There are more than fifty variations of the name spelling, another indication of the widespread occupational use in ancient times. Early examples of the name recordings include Arnold Chesere of Basel, Switzerland in 1246, William Le Chesman of Cambridge, England, in the year 1260, Brudel der Kesman of Salem in Germany in 1302, and Thomas Le Chusman of Sussex, England in 1327. Other recordings are those of Alice Chisman of Somerset also in 1327, Thomas Cheeseman of London, (1760 - 1835) the famous engraver, and Ernest Rewben Chismon on January 28th 1849 at St. Mary's, Lewisham, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baldwin Le Chesemangere, which was dated 1189. This was in the "Pipe Rolls" of the county of Kent, England, during the reign of King Richard 1st. He was known as "The Lionheart", following his exploits in the Holy Land during the Crusades. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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