A locational name introduced by the Normans in 1066 at the time of the conquest. The name is derived from the Villages of Le Quesnoy in the Departments of Seine - Inferieure, La Manche or Calvados. The name has a latin origin 'Casnetum' via French 'Chesnai' and translates as 'The dweller by the Oak Grove', and there are at least fourteen modern spellings including Cheyney, Chesney, Chaney and Chesteney etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Radulfus de Caisned of Le Quesnoy, Normandy which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book, Sussex during the reign of King William I, The Conqueror, 1066 - 1087 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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