This interesting and unusual name derives from the Olde French "Chanterie" originally referring to singing or chanting of the mass, later applied to priests endowed to sing at this mass and finally to the Chapel where they officiated. The surname is most likely topographic in origin i.e. given to one employed there. It is first recorded in the latter half of the 14th Century, (see below). One, Henry Chantrey was vicar of East Dereham, Norfolk in 1445 and Richard Chauntrey was rector of Knapton in 1465. In 1662 William Howard and Ann Chuntree were married at St. James' Church, Clerkenwell, London and in 1789 Henry Chantre and Phoebe Woodcock were married at St. James' Church, Clerkenwell, London and in 1789, Henry Chantree and Phoebe Woodcock were married at St. George's Church, Hanover Square. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes del Chauntre. which was dated 1379, The Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire. during the reign of Richard II, Richard of Bordeaux 1377 - 1399. 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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