This is a locational name which derives from the hamlet of Chidlow in the parish of Malpas in the County of Cheshire. The name is of Olde English origin, and derives from "Cidda", an early personal name, plus "hlaw", a hillside. The meaning of "Cidda" is believed to be the "eldest son", or possibly first child. What is confusing is that the dialectal variant form of the surname, Chidley, is actually an earlier recording than that of Chidlow itself. The first known Chidlow was John Chidlow, Rector of Hobbies, Norfolk, who died in 1652. Later local recordings include, Margaret, the daughter of John and Mary Chidlow, christened at Nantwich, Cheshire, on January 18th 1736, in the reign of King George 11 (1727 - 1760). Other recordings include: Elizabeth Chidley, who married John Harding at Bunbury, Cheshire, on June 12th 1664, and Richard Chidley, who married Elizabeth booth at Nantwich, on September 21st 1780. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catherine Chedley, which was dated May 20th 1589, marriage to William Smyth, at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Chester, Cheshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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