The surname of CHISENHALL was a locational name 'of Chisnall Hall' in County Lancashire, now a farm-house in the township of Coppull in the parish of Standish, County Lancashire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English CISEN meaning the dweller by the gravelly land. Early records of the name mention Chysenhale, 1285, County Lancashire. Chisenhale, 1332, ibid. Edward Chisenhale (died in 1653) was the eldest son of Edward Chisenall Esq. of Chishenhall, Lancashire, and Bryan Chisnall was listed in the Preston Guild Rolls in the year 1642. Alice Chisnall (widow) was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1620, and Humphrey Chisnall of Coppull was recorded in the same Wills in the year 1610. Families acquired a place name as a surname under three different sets of circumstances. Either the man lived or worked in, on or near some topographic formation or landscape feature, either natural or artificial or he formerly lived in a village, town or city and acquired the reputation of being from that place. Finally he owned or was lord of the village or manor designated. In the overwhelming majority of cases it is impossible to say whether a remote ancestor owned the manor or had merely once lived in that place. However, it is safe to say that in most cases a manor or village name merely identifies the place where the original bearer of the name formerly resided. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.
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