Recorded in various spellings including Chalkley, Chalkly, Chalklen, Chalklin, and Chalkling, this is an English surname. It is locational from some now "lost" medieval place possibly called Chalk-lim or Chalk-lyme or similar and meaning the place where the stream (lim) runs through the chalk. Several thousand British surnames are known to have originated from now lost villages, so whilst unusual, this is by no means an uncommon phenomena. What is perhaps surprising is that in such a small group of islands these places disappeared at all, but in the medieval period the country was continually swept by plagues which vastly reduced the working population, often forcing those that survived to flee to the towns to obtain support. Also over the centuries the towns themselves have engulfed many smaller places, which have disappeared completely under suburbia. In this case early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Anne Chalkley, who was christened at St Margarets Lothbury, in the city of London, on January 25th 1578, John Chalklin, the son of John and Elizabeth Chalklin, who was christened at St Giles Cripplegate, on March 30th 1718, and Alice Chalkling, who married Robert Smith at St Leonards church, Shoreditch, on July 6th 1784.
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