This interesting name has two possible sources, the first of which is of Norman French origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the French town of "Chartres". The placename derives from the Latin name of the Gaulish tribe who inhabited the area, the "Carnutes", and in fact the early recordings of the surname in Scotland, dating back to circa 1180, appear as "carnatto" or "carnoto"; one Walter de Carnoto donated two churches to the abbey of Kelso in circa 1180. The Anglicized form of Charters or Charteris appears in Scotland in the mid 13th Century, when one "charteris" was granted the wardship of Amysfield. The second possible origin of the modern surname, found as Chatres, Charters, Charteris, Chatters and Chatteris is Anglo-Saxon, and a location name from the place called "Chatteris" in Cambridgeshire, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "cetriz", and meaning "ceatta's ridge". One Christopher Charteris was christened at St. Lawrence Jewry, London on February 2nd 1644. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alcher de Chartris, which was dated 1179, in the "Sussex Pipe Rolls", 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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