This is an occupational name from the Old French 'chaucier' a maker of 'chausses' - clothing for the legs such as breeches, pantaloons and hose. In Middle English the term 'chawce' applied to anything worn on the feet, boots, shoes etc. As a surname, Chaucer, occurs first in the County of Norfolk and its connections with that county are confirmed by the poet Geoffrey Chaucer's grandfather having been connected with Ipswich. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400) is the most illustrious bearer of the English poets. His most famous work is, 'The Canterbury Tales' written about 1387 and first printed by Caxton in 1475. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Calcwere which was dated 1273 The Hundred Rolls of Norfolk during the reign of King Edward 1 The Hammer of the Scots 1272-1307 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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