This interesting surname of English origin is a dialectal variant of the locational Cheam in Surrey, deriving from the Norweigan "kage" meaning "a low shrub", "stumps" plus "ham" "homestead" hence "homestead by the stumps" plus the suffix "s" meaning "son of". The placename is recorded in the "Cartularium saxonicum" as Cegeham in 675, and Cegham in 950, Ceiham in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Cheiham in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1199. The surname dates back to the early 17th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include, Chime, Chim, Chimes, Chims, etc.. Sara Chem married William Massey on February 19th 1625 at St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London. Margarett, daughter of Richard Chime, was christened at St. Olave, Southwark, London on March 13th 1641, and Abrahamus Chims married Guiliem Debrae at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on January 30th 1670. Emily, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Chimes, was christened at St. Thomas's, Stepney, on October 10th 1869. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Chime, christened, which was dated 1613, St. Margaret, Westminster, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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