This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational name for a maker or seller of blankets. The derivation is from the Middle English "chaloun", a blanket, coverlet for a bed, with the addition of the agent suffix "-er" (one who does or works with). The articles were so named from being first and most notably produced in the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne, itself so called from a Gaulish tribe referred to in Latin sources as "Catalauni", who were the earliest recorded inhabitants of the place. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In records of the Winchester Fair, dated 1252, reference is made to "chalons of Guildford" that were bought for the King's use, and a quotation from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" reads: "In his owen chambre he made a bedde ... with chalons fair yspredde". Early examples of the surname include: Ralph le Chaluner (Suffolk, 1224); Robert Chalonar (Linlithgo, Scotland, 1472); Elizabetha Chaloner (Yorkshire, 1379); and Thomas Chauner (Staffordshire, 1583). In the modern idiom the surname is variously spelt: Challen(d)er, Challenor, Challiner, Chaloner, Channer and Chawner. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a black shield with a gold chevron between three cherubims' heads, the Crest being a gold demi sea wolf rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Le Chaloner, which was dated 1213, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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