This middle English locational name has early origins back to the time when the church was the largest land owner. The name means 'one who was resident by the church in the wood' from 'cirise-word' - Olde English pre 9th century or from the village of Killingworth near Long Benton, in Northumberland. There are a number of spellings including Killingsworth, Chillingworth, Chillingsworth, Chellingworth and Shillingsworth, all quite rare but suggesting a wholesale emigration from the village probably in the 14th century.The early rolls suggest that a Chillingworth also existed in Norfolk, but has now disappeared The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Kellyngworthe which was dated 1273 The Hundred Rolls of Norfolk during the reign of King Edward 1 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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