This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a parish and village south west of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, called Chearsley. Recorded as "Cerdeslai" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Cherdeslea" in the Charter Rolls of that county, dated 1313, the component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Ceolred", meaning "ship-counsel" with "leah", a grove or clearing. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially to those former inhabitants who left their place of origin to settle in another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which, in the modern idiom, appears as: Charsley, Chartesley, Chearsley and Cheasley. In 1279, one Geoffrey de Chardesle was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, and on October 5th 1544, Elizabeth Charssely and Jacobus Browne were married at St. Peter's, Chalfont, Buckinghamshire. The marriage of Robert Charsley to Sisley Claye took place in the same church on September 4th 1589. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Cherdeale, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", 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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