This most interesting surname is of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon origin. It may derive from the Germanic personal name "Karl, Carl", man, which was Latinized as "Carolus". This given name gave rise to the Old French personal name "Charles", introduced into England by the Normans, but never popularized until the Stuart period. In France it was popular from an early date due to the fame of the Emperor "Charlemagne", (Charles the Great) King of the Franks (742-814). It was introduced to Scotland in the 16th Century by the Stuarts, who had strong ties with France, and was brought by them to England in the 17th Century. The surname may also be of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the Olde English "ceorl", Middle English "charl, cherl", a tenant, serf, bondman, which was an occupational name or status name for a peasant farmer. The personal name "Carolus, Karolus" was recorded in the Curia Roll of Suffolk in 1208. Frethesant Cherl was mentioned in the Cambridgeshire Rolls in 1221 and the Feet of Fines of Suffolk note a Colina Charles in 1250. Dorothie Charles was one of the first women settlers in the New World, having sailed to "Virginea" aboard the "Transport" from London in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Cherle, which was dated 1193, in the "Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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