As Pioneers, no class of men can show a better record. There has been a constant migration of successive generations until, from the Atlantic shores, they have spread over the continent. Sober, industrious, frugal, and with a good degree of intelligence, they have known how to use appliances of life wisely and effectively to construct comfortable homes, and rear intelligent and virtuous families.
All in all, these character traits of patriotism, work, and integrity live on in those who share the Child surname with others. One cannot help but feel inspired and a subsequent responsibility to live in honor of the name by which he bares.
Summary of Origin
There arose in England many different Childe families, with the addition of the title Childe, or le Childe to their first names. These Childe families are not related to each other, being descendants of different young nobles, and are found in most counties of England. Therefore I found it necessary to research each county for the Childe name. In so doing, I found that many of the younger sons who received no inheritance found it necessary to look for work elsewhere. They often crossed county border lines to work for someone else until they were able to purchase their own estates. To obtain a complete family linage, most counties were researched.
The early Childe and Le Childe families moved around rather than stayed in one county. Later, during the 1400's and early 1500's, they seemed to stay in one county. Then again in the latter 1500's and early 1600's, they began to move around.
Dictionary of Surnames. English and Welsh surnames p. 177
P.H. Reaney, Dictionary of British Surnames, p. 67
Norse Kings:Norse Kings used the "hllde" as well as Childe in their titles. An example is, "a son of Brynhilde, the Flower Maiden," assumed the Burgundian throne in 466 A.D. under the title of Chlldperie or Battle Empire.
Surnames were introduced by the Norman French and the first Norman reigns in Britian. The French shorten the Latin Super to sur and then wrote the surname over the Christian given name. There are examples of surnames in the Doomesday Book:
Cild, Eduuinus; Cild, Brix; Cild, Leuuinus; Cild, Ulft
Ulft held wapen takes in Lincolnshire, Nottingham and Derbyshire.
Chylde Wawean, King Lothe's son legend has been preserved by Robert of Gloucester, King Lotus was a British King converted to Christianity about 625 A.D.
Childe used as a Knight:
As knight became more accepted, the title Childe was reserved for the eldest son's of early nobility in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The title Childe then devolved to young nobles awaiting Knighthood.2
The noble families of England reserved the "eldest son or heir" for the title of Childe. The title Childe was adopted as a surname in the 11th and 12th centuries from the young nobles who held the title. Childe families begin in most counties in England from these young nobles. The Childe families in the 12th century in the various counties are unrelated and are very numerous. I found that in doing research that it was necessary to complete research out each county in which Child names are found.2,3
In several counties such as Leicester, Cambridge, Bedford, Worcester, Norfolk, Shropshire, and London are found young Childe Nobles about 1200 A.D. They had taken upon themselves the title "le Childe," the French version meaning "the Child," meaning eldest son or heir. The young nobles added their Christian given name to le Childe and came up with a name like William le Childe. Different William le Childe's are found originating Childe families in Bedford, Worcester, and Leicester. 5, 6, 7
Robert le Childe or Infans was Provost of Shrewsbury, Shrop-shire until his death in 1209. Robert signed his name three ways, le Childe, Childe, and Infans. These surnames are a result of the title which he held and his descendants used the surnames thereafter. 4
Dictionary of British Surnames p. 62
Dictionary of Welch and British Surnames p. 177
Provosts and Baliffs of Shrewsbury
Victoria County History of Worcester, Bedford
Wills of Norfolk
Patent rolls of Worcester and Cambridge 1200-1400
Child - Childs - Chyld
This surname spelled also Childs, Child, and Chyld is one of the oldest English families names, the Progenitor was probably a Saxon Chief who assumed the name toward the end of the Saxon domination in England. After the Norman Conquest some of the Family took the Latinized French form of L'Enfant for some generations and several of that name were concerned in the conquest of Ireland in the Reign of Henry the 1lth, and in the government of the country in the 12th century. Others had seats at various places in Worcestershire and at Shrewbury, England.
Richard Le Childe was Lord Mayor of the Manor of Northwick in 1320 and was succeeded by his sons William and Thomas, and Grandson of Thomas Le Childe who was eschertic for the county in 1428.
William Childs (or Child) immigrant ancestor was born in England about 1600 and settled with his brother Ephraim in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was admitted a Freeman in 1634 and had a large land estate. He died early. William's widow is mentioned in the will of Elizabeth (Palmer) Child who left her some wardrobe which was more ample and costly than was usually found in the colonies.
The family of Child, Northwich, Worcestershire, England, have arms, gules a fesse ermine, between three doves argent crest a dove, wings expanded argent, with a snake twining about her neck and body or Shield gules or red in the background, chevron white, engrailed black ermine black, outline of shield gold, with eagles argent or silver, the coils of the wreath alternate red and gold, eagle silver and snake black.