This name, with variant forms Child(e), Cheeld, Chill and Chil(l)es originated as a nickname with various possible application from the Old English pre 7th Century "Cild", (Medieval English "Child"), meaning "child". Firstly, it was widely used as an affectionate term of address and as such appears as an Old English byname. Secondly, the word "child" was used as a term of status for a young man of noble birth. Thirdly, it was applied to a young nobleman awaiting knighthood, and finally it was used as a pet name for the youngest child in the family at the time of the parents death. Early recordings of the name include Gode Cild, (Suffolk, 1095), Roger le Child, (Berkshire, 1204) and Emma Child, (Yorkshire, 1379). Sir Francis Child (1642 - 1713) was Lord Mayor of London, 1698 - 1699. The final "s" on the name represents the patronymic form. On June 14th 1677 Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Childs, was christened in Wandsworth, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluric Child, which was dated 1086, in the "Domesday Book for Essex", during the reign of King William 1, known as "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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