This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be locational from Cheal in Lincolnshire, which was recorded as "Cegle" in the Saxon Chartulary of 852, and as "Ceila" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Cheal is situated on a stream, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cegel", a peg, pole, and the meaning here may be "pole" or "plank bridge". Locational surnames 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. Secondly, the surname may derive from the Olde English "cele, ciele", cold, coldness, Middle English "chele", cold, frost, and would have been given as a nickname to someone lacking warmth. William Chele is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire (1275). In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Cheal, Cheale, Cheales and Cheel. On November 4th 1738, Thomas, son of John and Ruth Cheales, was christened at St. Clement Danes, Westminster, London, and William, son of John Cheales, was christened on January 20th 1788, at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone Road, also in London. A Coat of Arms granted to this family depicts three gold eagles displayed, ducally crowned and armed silver, the Crest being a gold eagles head erased, ducally crowned silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Cheles, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", 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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