This interesting surname, with variant spellings Childerly, Childerlie, Childerlee, Childerlay etc., widely recorded in church registers of London and Cambridgeshire from the early 16th Century, is of locational origin from a place near Caxton called Childerley. Recorded variously as Cilderlai and Cildrelai in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Childerle in the 1242 "Fine Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire", the place was so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "Cilda", genitive plural of "cild", child, plus the Old English "leah", a wood or clearing; hence, "The leah of the children".On October 24th 1554, Margaret Childerley and Gylbert Corbet were married in St. Mary Magdalene Old Fish Street, London, and on July 5th 1556 Elizabeth Childerlay married a Henry Syllbarne in the same church. The christening of Helen, daughter of Richard Chilerley, took place in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire, on April 21st 1566. John Childerley, (1565-1645), was recorded as a fellow of St. John's College, Oxford in 1579; D.D., 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Childerley, (christening), which was dated November 28th 1538, St. Andrew Hubbard with St. Mary at Hill, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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