This rare and interesting surname is of English origin and is a phonetic variant spelling of the famous locational name Cholmondeley from a place so called in Cheshire. Cholmondeley was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Calmundelei', and in the County Court, City Court and Eyre Rolls of Chester, of 1287 as 'Chelmundeleg'. By the 14th century the pronunciation was 'Chumley or Chomley' and from that has derived the variant surname forms of Chaml(e)y, Champl(e)y, Chomley etc.The originination is from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Ceolmund' with 'leah', a grove, thus, Ceolmund's grove. The name in its various forms was popular in Yorkshire, Sir Roger Chomeley, being Lord Chief of the Exchequer in the time of Elizabeth 1, and various branches were also found in Ireland, but these were of Cheshire-Yorkshire descent. Examples of the name recording include Annes Champley, christened at St Oswalds Church, Durham, on June 1st 1578, Sisseley Chomley of Nantwich, Cheshre on August 19th 1605,and Thomas Champely of Howden, Yorkshire on March 16th 1632. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, which was dated Circa 1250, Baron of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, 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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