This interesting and unusual surname is of English locational origin from "Cawkwell", a place, north of Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, recorded as "Calchewelle" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and "Calkwell" in the Assize Court Rolls of 1206. The place name derives its name from the Old English pre 7th Century words "calc", meaning "chalk", and either "wella", spring, stream, or "well", a Norse word meaning abode, hence "chalk stream", or "the abode by the chalkey soil". The surname first appears in records in the mid 16th Century, (see below). The Lincolnshire Church Registers record the christening of Thomas, son of William Cawkwell, at Scoller on September 11th 1563; the marriage of Joan Cawkwell to one Richard Clarke at Claypole, on June 30th 1574; and the christening of one William, son of Thomas Cawkwell at Scotton on October 17th 1592. The name first appears in London church records on June 23rd 1692, when one Grace Colewell married Thomas Bagnell at St. Marylebone, Marylebone Road. Sarah Cawkwell was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London on March 17th 1782. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Cawkwell, which was dated December 9th 1560, christening witness at Scotton, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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