This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Chollerton, a parish near North Hexham in Northumberland. Recorded as "Choluerton", circa 1175 in "Placenames of Northumberland", and as "Cholverton" in 1254, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal compound name "Ceolferth", having "ceol", ship, as an initial element, with "tun", enclosure, settlement. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those former inhabitants who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which in the modern idiom is found as: Chol(l)erton, Challerton, Choulerton, Choularton and Chowlerton. On November 23rd 1591, Grace Choulerton, an infant, was christened in Morley, Derbyshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Chowlorton, which was dated August 15th 1569, witness at a christening at All Saints, Derbyshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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