This most interesting and unusual surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a topographical name for a dweller by the tree stump, or a nickname given to someone of stocky build, from the Old French, Middle English "s(o)uche", a tree stump (probably of Gaulish origin, apparently ultimately related to the Olde English "stocc"). In some cases, the reference may be to a primitive foot-bridge over a stream consisting of a felled tree trunk. Chuck itself actually derives from the Norman form "chouque". Modern variants of the surname in England include Souch, Sutch, Zouch and Chucks. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below), while Roger la Zuche is mentioned in the Book of Fees of Devonshire in 1212. Walter le Chuck appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. In some instances the name may have been brought from some small French place called "La Souche". Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire was held by Roger de la Zuche in 1200. Margaret, daughter of Richard Chuck, was christened on November 30th 1589 at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Lachuche, which was dated 1172, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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