This is a variant spelling form of one of the oldest of all recorded surnames. It derives from "Chetwode", a now "lost" pre-medieval spot in Buckinghamshire, recorded in the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in England. The rigination is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ceto" which means "wood", to which was added in Anglo-Saxon times "wudu", also meaning "wood", a tautological addition when the original name was no longer understood. The hamlet of "Chetweode" was apparently "cleared" in the 15th Century to facilitate the Enclosure Acts.Former inhabitants took the name of their village as their surname; in an age of general illiteracy this automatically led to variant spelling forms. These include Richard Chettwoode, recorded on June 10th 1579 at St. Mary the Virgin, London, whilst Henry Chetwood was christened at St. Luke's, Chelsea, on January 1st 1637, and Thomas Chatwood was a witness at the church of All Hallows, London Wall, on July 13th 1656 during the "reign" of Oliver Cromwell (1653 - 1658). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Chetwode, which was dated circa 1298, in the "Heraldic Rolls of England (1298 - 1418)", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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