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CHESTNUTT Family History

This most interesting name, although a rare English surname, is of Old French origin. It is a topographical name for "a dweller by the chestnut tree", from the Middle English "chesteine", from the Old French "chastaigne", ultimately deriving from the Greek "kastanea", meaning "nut of Castanaea", and in the modern sense means "chestnut". This was also found as "chester nut" in Middle English, while it was spelt "chesnut" until the early 19th Century. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.

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