This very uncommon and interesting name is of early medieval English and Old French origin, and is an occupational surname for a carrier, someone who transported goods either on foot, by pack-horse or by wagon. The name derives from the Middle English 'charge', load, from the Old French 'charge', from the Latin 'car(ri)care', load. The surname from this source is unusual in that it has remained unaltered since the Middle Ages, unlike the majority of medieval surnames which have usually developed in some ways from the original form. The modern surname Charge is found mainly in Yorkshire, although the early recordings are dispersed around the country. The marriage of Thomas Charge and Elizabeth Ward was recorded at St. Matthew's, Friday Street, London, on September 2nd 1566, and one John Charge was christened at St. Bartholomew's the Great, London, on April 7th 1690. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Charge (marriage to Robert Rowland), which was dated October 8th 1545, Plymtree, Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, 'Good King Hal', 1509 - 1547. 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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