Recorded in a number of spellings including Chadburn, Chadborn, Chadborne, Chadbourne, and Chatburn, this is an English locational surname which is also recorded in Scotland. According to the Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, the surname originates from a place called Chaddburn in the county of Lancashire, but if this is so, we have not been able to identify any such place. The name is believed to mean 'The fort by the stream' from the pre 7th century Olde English and Welsh words 'cader' meaning a fort, and 'burna', a stream. Locational surnames are almost always 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved somewhere else. The easiest way to identify such strangers, was to call them by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best rudimentary, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the creation, as with this name, of 'sounds like' spellings. This situation was further aggravated if the name originated from a 'lost' village, since there was then no means of linking the spelling to an actual place. An estimated three thousand surnames do originate from such places, of which this would seem to be another one. Recordings in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include Christopher Chadbourne who married Margaret Holmwood at St Andrews by the Wardrobe, in the city of London, on September 7th 1595, and Hugh Chadburn who was christened at St Margaret's Westminster, on October 1st 1616.
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