Recorded as Chislet, Chislett, Chiselett, and possibly others, this is an English late medieval locational surname. It originates from the small village and parish of Chislet, in the county of Kent, near to the city of Canterbury. The village is truly ancient being first recorded in the year 605 a.d. and in one of the very first of all known English charters which have survived from those times of fifteen hundred years ago. This recording was in the period after the Roman occupation and before the coming of the Vikings later in the 7th century. The meaning of the village name is not proven but the spelling would seem to be a fused form of the Olde English 'cisel-fleot' meaning gravel stream, the area having considerable numbers of pebble banks. The surname is believed to be first recorded in the Oxford University list of students for the year 1581 when one Thomas Chislet of the county of Somerset appears on Page 117 of Volume 2, however it is possible that earlier recordings of the surname exist in as yet unresearched or unpublished charters and rolls of the Medieval period. Other recordings are known to include William Chislett and Emma Barlow who were granted a wedding licence in the city of London in the year 1602, and that of Emnett Chislett in the Calender (listings) of Wills in the court of Husting, Westminster, in 1639.
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