Search for content in message boards

The First Chew Anywhere?

The First Chew Anywhere?

John chew (View posts)
Posted: 979236363000
A very tough question? I heard France and then England 1066 settled in Bristol area hence Chew manor, Chew valley etc.Truth or fiction ? the first Chew fought in the battle of hastings and as a reward for his heroic deeds was given land and Chew manor?

Early Chews

Richard Chew (View posts)
Posted: 980177134000

I have yet to see any real evidence concerning the origens, home, occupation, or email of our first American ancestor. Everybody should ignore all those oft-repeated undocumented stories about Chewton and all that. I was in Chewton. Nobody named Chew ever lived there--or died there.

Now, if you ask did John go aboard with a different name...

Re: Early Chews

Posted: 993488788000
Richard, your name is appropriate. Richard Chew and his wife Francers Woodward settled in Gloucester Co., NJ in the early 1690s. It is said they moved to NJ from Flushing, New York. Before that they were in Boston, MA. Some may have arrived with the Mayflower and other early ships. His father John Chew and others in the family went into MD and VA. They were closely associated with the Woodwards, Clarks, Heritages, Gates, etc.
The Chews expanded from NJ into Philadelphia, PA, MD and Delaware.
Don Ashburn

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

Diane. (View posts)
Posted: 994979138000
I think you might be a little optimistic here! I'm an English Chew (b1949). My family comes from Blackburn in Lancashire(you need a map) where it is a fairly common name. I now live in Hyde in the foothills of the Pennines (hills running north to south in the middle of northern England - don't worry about the geography) Around here, running over towards Oldham and points north there is the Chew Valley. I have always understood that the Lancashire/Cheshire/Yorkshire Chews originated in and took their name from this area.
There is also a Chew valley in Somerset and I have a friend who lives at Chew Magna near Bristol. (We are talking south-west England here).
Many years ago in an old book on English surnames I found the theory that the name was a corruption of "Chough" (pronounced "Chuff") which is a bird of the european blackbird family. I felt then and still do that this is a somewhat laboured idea. Surnames as we know them now didn't become very widespread until the Middle Ages in Britain. They generally descibed a person by their personal characteristics eg John White (a blond- or white-haired person) or John Armstrong, or their job eg John Fletcher, the arrow maker, John Smith, John Miller, etc., to distinguish them from others of the same christian name. Likewise Robin-son, John-son etc. As people began to move around, after the Black Death in the 14th century effectively put an end to the village feudal system, their new neighbours would give them the name of the place of their origin eg John Chew, John Hyde, etc., to distinguish them from the locals. The idea of calling someone after a bird seems a bit odd unless he was a great whistler!
The French connection is quite beguiling but it's not one that features in the family folk-lore in this branch of the Chews.
I've been to Battle Abbey where the Battle of Hastings took place and I can assure you that if everyone alleged to have fought for William the Conqueror and been rewarded by him had actually been there the battlefield would have been so crowded that there would have been no room for the Saxons!
Neither is there any suggestion in the family that we have come down in the world and I've never come across any Chews among the British aristocracy - major or minor!
That is not to say, however, that some of the Chews who high-tailed it off to America, whether voluntarily or under duress, didn't "acquire" noble connections on their arrival. I under-stand that it was quite common for new arrivals to reinvent themselves.
I hope this doesn't disappoint you too much. If you find evidence to the contrary I'd be very interested to hear about it.
Incidentally, am I right in thinking that there was a Robert(?) Chew who was Secretary of State at the time of (your) civil war? And I'm sure there used to be a Sam Chew who was involved in the technical side of film or TV programme making. I remember seeing the credits.
\good luck in the search.

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

Dick Chew (View posts)
Posted: 995184195000
Surnames: Chew
I found your article interesting in the fact that I don't believe I have heard from any Chew from the Brittish Isles. I have heard much that there were none there and may not have ever been. In any case it is nice to know there are indeed some Chew lineage still there,

Regarding the Chew in films, your indication of a Robert Chew may or may not be correct, I don't know. I do know there was a Richard Chew, a decendent of the Philladelphia Chew's, that I believe was a director and was listed as one of the first credits in one of Star War movies. I believe it was the first on. I just thought I would pass that along.

Personally, I am an Indiana (US) Chew. My line has been here now for 6 generations. As a matter of fact I live within 4 miles of where my ancesters have all lived, most of them farmers and I am a high school math teacher.

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

Posted: 996537718000
Edited: 1023064516000
We certainly are still here, and in surprisingly good numbers too! My father is from the Blackburn area (Church, Accrington) and it's believed that the name was first noted in nearby Whalley. I believe this is in 1050.

We have a rather marvellous coat of arms, which shows a catherine wheel. I asked a chap who was big on heraldry what this meant, and he said it stood for a history of suffering in the family. My father nodded in a sage fashion.

Sally (nee Chew)

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

stephen morrissey (View posts)
Posted: 1001360505000
Classification: Query
I have just begun researching the Chews. My grandfather married Bertha Chew in 1908 in Blackburn. Bertha was the daughter of Thomas Chew and Alice (?) Gardner of Halifax, York (?).

Can anyone add anything to this?

Thank you,

Stephen Morissey

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

Tom Chew (View posts)
Posted: 1053137662000
Classification: Query
My line goes back to Blackburn. John P. Chew born 6/11/1838 to Thomas and Catherine Chew, married Jane Longworth born 8/6/1835. They lived at 116 Stanley Street in Blackburn (Is the house still there? Would like to have a picture if it is.) with their three sons John, Thomas and Edward (my great grandfather). Emigrated to America around 1873. I am trying to follow my line back further. Any help? I could not find them in Ron Ulrich's tree. Thanks.

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

JOSEPH (View posts)
Posted: 1060707638000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Morrissey, Peoples, House
Someone actually knows someone name Chew other than me. I am not into the research,however I cannot seem to forget a fellow classmate back in the 1950s surname Chew, and by the way you are getting this message from the Washington,D.C. area. He attended school here. By the way, are you related to Morrissey in North Carolina. I had a relative named Ida Mae Morrissey who married a Charles Peoples. Anyway, my email is

Re: The First Chew Anywhere?

Stephen Morrissey (View posts)
Posted: 1060874013000
Classification: Query
I am related to the Chews on my mother's side of the family. That Chew from the 1950s must have made an impression on you! For some reason I think of "Chew" as being an odd name, maybe because it's also a verb... you can check out the history of the name and find some interesting facts. Don't know Ida Mae Morrissey... I am still interested in finding Chews in Lancashire, England and have put my family history on-line at

Best wishes,

Stephen Morrissey
per page

Find a board about a specific topic