This interesting name is of medieval English origin and is locational from the county in North West England, first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of 980 as "Legecaesterscir", and later in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Cestrescire", which is a compound of the name of the county town Chester and the Old English pre 7th Century "scir", meaning district or division, with the earlier first element "lege", under Roman influence, from the Latin "legionum", legions, soldiers, thus a military town. In the modern idiom the variants include Chesshire, Chesshyre, Cheshir, Chesher, Chesser and Chessor. Locational names were often adopted by former inhabitants as a means of identification. Listed in the National Biography is a notable namebearer, John Cheshire (1695-1762), a physician who published treaties on rheumatism and gout. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Cestesir, which was dated 1219, in the "Yorkshire Assize Court", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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