This interesting and unusual surname, with variant spellings Chaffin, Chafen, Chauvin, and cognates Choffet, Choffat and Choffel, is a diminutive of the Old French "chauf", bald, and originated as a nickname for a bald or tonsured man. One, Roger le Chauf was recorded in the 1214, "Curia Regis Rolls of Cornwall" and a Thomas Chafyn in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", dated 1505. On March 3rd 1559, Josias Chafin, an infant, was christened in St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, and on September 5th 1566, one, Jane Chaffen was christened in St. Mary Magdalene, London. On October 28th 1682, the marriage of Thomas Choffel and Catherine Bringold took place in St. Maurice-sur-Moselle, Vosges, France. Magueritte Choffin and Jean Monnier were married in Angeot, Belfort, on January 20th 1741, and on April 19th 1792, Marie Francoise Choffin married a Charles Mangot in St. Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Chaufin, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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