This interesting and unusual name is a dialectual transposition from the place name 'Chesham' in Buckinghamshire, itself transposed from the 'Cestreham' as which it is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The place name derives from the Old English pre 7th century 'caester' or 'ceaster' meaning 'heap (of stones)' and 'hamm' meaning a meadow, especially a flat low-lying meadow on a stream. As a locational surname therefore it denoted 'one who lives by the water meadow with the heap of stones'. The first instance of the surname in the spelling 'Chesson' is recorded in the marriage of Joan Chesson to John Cowley, on the 1st February 1538, at the Church of St. Lawrence Jewry, in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Burchard de Cestreham which was dated 1200 The Pipe Rolls, Berkshire during the reign of King John I 'Lackland' 1199-1216 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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