This very interesting surname has been the subject of in-depth research by family members. Basically the origin is Olde English pre 10th century, the "de Hals" element is West Country from one of the various places called" Hals or Halse" in Somerset and Devon, the word describing a neck or saddle of land, and the hamlet or village thereon. The preposition "de" was used by the clerics for several centuries after the 1066 invasion, but fell into disuse as the French language was phased out. The prefix element "Ching" is again Olde English deriving from either "cin" meaning chin, or "cinu" a cleft or steep valley. It is arguable that in surname terms they could be the same, for example a nickname for one who had a prominent chin, or perhaps who lived at a prominent place. Both origins are well recorded from the 13th century, again in the West Country. The early records include the following examples John Chynne of Huntingdon in the 1276 Hundred Rolls, and Richard Chyne of Worcester in the Subsidy Rolls of 1275. Later examples include Thomas Chynge of Bideford, a witness at the christening of his daughter Margaret on May 6th 1576, and Thoma filius Julius Chinge de Hals of Kilkhampton, Devon, on February 19th 1595/96. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Chinne, which was dated 1243, in the Assize Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman," 1216 - 1272. 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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