Recorded in many spelling forms including Cavalier, Chabal, Chabale, Chable, Chabald, Chaballier, Chevalier, Cabballer, Chevallereau and Caballe, this very interesting name is English, French and Spanish, but originally of Italian (Roman) antecedents. It derives from the Latin term 'caballus' meaning 'a horse soldier', through the medieval French status word 'chevalier', the latter being a rank of nobility. The first of all recordings of the surname was in England, where by and large record keeping was several centuries ahead of other countries. In the English Civil War of 1640 - 1660 the words 'cavalier' and 'roundhead' were originally terms of abuse, although by clever promotion, the royalists turned 'cavalier' into a mark of gentility, which it has remained to this day. Examples of the surname recording taken at random from surviving rolls and registers in both France and England include: Ralph Chivalier of London, in the Close Rolls of King Edward 1st of England in 1274, Thomas Chevaler, the vicar of Stow in Norfolk, in 1546, Caterine Chabale who married Philip Rasquier at St Antoine-de-Lacalm, department of Tarn, on April 4th 1675, and Georges Chable, who married Marguerite Friant at Ciret-sur-Vezouse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, on July 22nd 1839.The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Thomas le Chevalier, in the rolls known as 'Testa de Neville' of the year 1273, for the county of Kent, England. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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