This is a patronymic i.e.'the son of Chaff', a personal nickname deriving from the Olde French 'chauf' or 'cauf' meaning 'bald', and originally given to a bald headed person. One Roger le Chauf is recorded in the 1214 'Pipe Rolls of Cornwall'. The name is not recorded again until the 17th century when it takes the form Chafe - a Richard Chafe appears on the burial records of St. James Church, Clerkenwell, London c. 1600. In 1631 the marriage of one Matthew Chaffy and a Sara Bowry is recorded in St. Dunstan, Stepney and in July 1726, the christening of Edward, son of Benjamin and Rachel Chaffey, took place at St. Botolph's, London. The final 'ey' added to the name is a diminutive suffix indicating 'little'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Chaffey married Elizabeth Scot. which was dated March 29th 1692 at St. James, Dukes Place, London. during the reign of William III of Orange and England 1689-1702. 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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