This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from places so called, near Reigate in Surrey and near Alresford in Hampshire, the former place appearing as "Cherlewod", in 1199 in the Curia Rolls. The placenames derive from the same Olde English pre 7th Century word "ceorl", meaning "a free peasant", plus the second element the Olde English "wudu", a wood. Locational names were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.William Charlwood married Margaret Hole at Dorking, Surrey on May 8th 1541, while Margarett, daughter of William Charlwood, was christened at Dorking on September 26th 1543. Rychard Charlwod was christened on February 28th 1567 at Bletchingley, Surrey. One John Charlwood, or Charlewood, was among the earliest established printers in London, known to have been producing ballads, tracts and "popular pieces" from circa 1559 - 1592, and holding the monopoly of printing playbills from 1587 - 1592. He is recorded as takin as an apprentice "Geffry Charlwood of Lye" (Leigh) in Surrey, on January 12th 1591. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johane Charlewood, which was dated January 22nd 1511, marriage to William Russell at Betchworth, Surrey, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "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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