Recorded in many forms including Challicombe, Challicum, Chollcombe, Chalcombe, Shallcombe, and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It is locational and from some place which may have translated as 'The shallow river in the valley' from the pre 7th century Olde English 'scald cum' or perhaps from 'cealce cum' meaning chalk valley. However an extensive search of the gazetters of the British Isles of the past three centuries has failed to satisfactorily prove any existing site. We therefore conclude that this name is from a 'lost' medieval village of which the only reminder in the 20th century would seem to be the surviving surname itself. At least three thousand British Isles surnames are known to originate from lost places, so whilst still unusual, this is by no means unique. Furthermore locational surnames are usually 'from' names. These were names given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' spellings. Examples of the surname recording in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include those of Helyn Challcombe at St Mary Woolnoth on February 2nd 1566, and Ellionor Challicum who married John Tucker at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 24th 1629.
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