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The "Chafe" surname originally came from the present village of Chaffcombe, Somerset, England.  The name Chaffcombe was listed in the Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086. From that documented point the surname became tied to people from the village.  The surname usage grew in size largely in the Somerset, Devon and Dorset areas.  With the growth of the surname, both the written spelling and spoken word changed into a number of variations.  In the 1600 and 1700's the surname became established in Canada and the United States where a number of these variations now predominate.  The five most common variations that share the same ancestry are Chaffe/Chaffey (England), Chafe (Canada), Chaffee/Chaffey/Chafee (US) and Chaffey (Australia).  In the discussion below, the "older" Chafe variation will be used to describe the surname as a whole.

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The following is a list of various interesting facts and figures about the Chafe (and spelling variations) surname.  Further information and graphics on the coat of arms are located on this webpage.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Heraldry and Coat of Arms

Earliest Documented Version (1648)
From the Diaries of the Chafes by Rev. W.K.W. Chafy, 1910, the "Coat of Arms, whose origin and first adoption are unascertainable, was assumed from the time by various Chafes of Chafe combe, but upon what authority is unknown, for although it is mentioned in the collection of the College of Arms it was has never been formally assigned to anyone.  It is azure, five fusiles in fesse, a canton argent.  Crest a demi lion rampant, azure, bezante holding lozenge, or between its paws. The first individual known to have borne it is Robert Chaffe Mayor of Exeter in 1568 and 1575, its ascription to him being found in an Alphabet of arms of Devon and Cornwall families, and said to have been written about 1689".  An example of this coat of arms can be seen in the effigy of Thomas Chafe (c.1648) located in St. Giles in the Wood Church, Devon.
Shield: Azure, Five Fusiles in Fesse, A Canton Argent
     - Azure: Blue
     - Fusil: A kind of spindle used in spinning. A fusil is diamond shaped, more elongated than a  lozenge and is an ancient symbol of labour and industry.
    - Fess: A broad horizontal band across the middle of the shield/flag      
    - Canton Argent: A flag borne at the top corner of the shield; reward from the sovereign for performance of eminent service - silver or white.
Crest: A demi lion rampant, azure, bezante holding lozenge, or between its paws.
     - Lion: The noblest of all wild beasts, which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour 
     - Bezante: Covered or studded with bezants (silver dots)
     - Or: Gold

More Recent Version (1822)
According to the Devonshire Wills by Charles Worthy, 1896, "the arms used for many centuries by this family, "azure, five fusils in fesse, argent, a canton of the last," and which surmount the tomb already referred to in the parish church of St Giles in the Heath, have been superseded, since 1822, by Dr. Chafy's predecessors. In pursuance of an Earl Marshal's warrant in that year directed to the Kings of Arms, consequent upon the application of the Rev. W. Chafy, great-grandfather of the present owner of Rous-Lench, a coat, which satisfactorily marks the descent of the Chafy's from Hugo, Thegn of Chafecombe, and his connection with the Saxon Earldom of Devon, the badge of which was a gryphon then, and down to the commencement of the third century after the Conquest, was granted to him and his heirs, and may be thus blazoned: - Per pale gules and azure, a gryphon segreant, argent; on a chief, engrailed erm., three lozenges in fess of the second. Crest, on a mount vert, a peacock in its pride, between two palm-branches, all ppr."
Shield: Red with a gold griffin (half eagle/half lion mythical creature) with an ermine stripe on which there are three blue diamond shapes.
Motto: Fide et Fiducia (By fidelity and confidence)
Coat of Arms: Azure, A Fess Lozengy Argent
     - Per-Pale: a shield divided per-pale has the left and right sides of different colours. Gules: red and Azure: blue
     - Azure: blue, denotes loyalty and truth. The color of clear sky or unclouded sky.
     - Fesse: or band, this is the military belt of honor and is shown on the shield by a band running across the center of the shield horizontally.
     - Lozengy: the border of the fesse or band having rhomboidal figures. (conjoined equal sides and unequal angles). Figure with four equal sides and two acute and two obtuse angles (diamond shape). Symbolizes honesty and constancy and is also held to be a token of noble birth.
     - Argent: to make clear; silver metal or whiteness.
     - Segreant: the gryphon when depicted is standing on its hind legs, with the wings elevated and addorsed.
Crest: A peacock, (used in ecclesiastical decoration and symbolizing beauty, power, knowledge and omniscience) on mount vert (green), in its pride (tail extended), between two palm-branches (symbolizing victory, justice, and royal honour).

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Saxon and Olf French word combe means a deep narrow valley or basin on the flank of a hill.  The British kumb, meaning valley was used so extensively that it was adopted into Old English as cumb and has yielded numerous English placenames containing Combe and Coombe.  Chafecombe or Chaffcombe can also be derived from the term cleaf (ceaf) cumb which in Saxon means breezy valley.  The word chaff itself dates from before the 12th century England and can be related to; the residue husk or stalk left when threshing grain and removing the seed; anything worthless or fit to be cast off; the straw or hay cut up fine for the food of cattle. Caf could also mean winding.  Caffecome is compounded of the Saxon lay for sharp, and lomb for valley.  'Coombe', a valley, derives from the Welsh 'cwm' and Saxon 'cumb'. Akin to Old High German cheva meaning husk. The name of the town may be related to a Saxon settler, and has been referenced to 'Ceaffa's valley that stretches across the western slopes of the Windwhistle ridge overlooking Chard. Latin: palea means chaff or husk.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The pronunciation of the Chafe surname is varied - likely arising in isolated local village dialects influenced by early Norman/English/Latin inflections on syllables.  The three parts of the surname can be spoken with various emphasis on the letter combinations.  "CH" can be pronounced with a hard "c" like "charcoal", as a "k" as in cake" or "calf" or like an "s" as in "shave".  The "A" can be spoken like "ehh" or like "ahh".  There are many variations in the last letters "F", "FE", "FFE", "EE" or "FEY" that have two sounding variations; one with a silent "e" as in "safe", another with the "e" sounding like a "y", as in "navy" or "eel".  These last letters account for most of the spelling variations as well.  The surname was often spelt phonetically before reading or writing were common.  From the analysis on this website it is most likely that the "EE" variation emigrated from Dorset/Somerset (east of Chaffcombe), England to the United States, and the "e" variation emigrated from Devon (west of Chaffcombe) to Canada (Table 4).  It is possible that the long silent "E" Chaffe/Chafe branch moved to Devon in the 1500's and the long "EE" branch of  Chaffey/Chaffy branch stayed in Somerset and later expanded into Dorset. In Australia, they pronounce Chaffey with an "ai" or "aye"" and a hard "ch" to sound like CHAIIFFEY.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)DNA analysis on male Chaffe surnames indicate a possible Celtic linage.  Chaffe's tested to date are from the R1b Haplogroup (HG1). Male ancestors in the I Haplo group are "Viking" and came from Northern Scandinavia and prior to that when Scandinavia was covered with the ice sheet, from what is now Croatia.  The R1a Haplo group has origins around the northern Caspian Sea area. Chaffe male ancestors would have lived in the Basque area of Spain about 10,000 years ago.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Variations in the spelling of the Chafe surname that (may) have evolved within the Devon, Dorset, Somerset area include: Chaffyng (1332 Dorset), Chaf (1663 Devon), Chafe (1558 Devon), Chafee (1657 Dorset), Chafey (1651 Somerset & Dorset), Chaff (1479 Devon), Chaffe (1578 Devon), Chaffee (1550 Somerset), Chaffety (none found), Chaffey (1560 Somerset), Chaffie (1536 Devon), Chaffin (1533 Dorset), Chaffy (1593 Somerset), Chaffye (1585 Somerset), Chafie (1584 Dorset), Chafin (1559 London, 1589 Dorset, 1593 Wiltshire), Chafy (1500 Dorset), Chave (1557 Devon), and Shafe (1692 Devon). Text in the brackets references the year and location from earliest records on the Internet Genealogy Service. Research shows that some of this data  from the LDS site is suspect and may not comprehensive.  It should be noted that parish registers apparently started around 1538 in England.  Tables 1 and 2 show the distribution of 2987 LDS Chafe surnames (of which 33% were duplicates) from 1450 to 1799 in England by county and town.  It is understandable that variations could have evolved because of the isolation between villages was great before trains and automobiles were introduced.  Considering people could walk a distance of about 15-20 miles per day and carts houses twice that, movement across one end of Devon to the other could take 3 days.  The Chaif variation may have evolved in Canada as the French Canadian equivalent of the Newfoundland Chafe's.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Other similarly sounding or spelt (or miss-spelt) surnames are not likely related to the Chafe name: Caffey (1580 Surrey), Chafer (1530 London, 1575 Northampton), Chaffen (1566 London, 1587 Wiltshire), Chaffer (1560 Lincoln, 1569 Norfolk), Chaffers (1668 London), Chaffins (1823 Yorkshire), Chaffle (1744 Gloucester), Chaffyn (1537, Sussex), Chafins (1819 Lincoln), Chafis (1567 Essex), Chafye (1642 London), Chase (1546 Buckingham, 1547 Hampshire), Chasey, Chayfes (1555 Lincoln), Chayffe (1557 Yorkshire), Shave (1575 Suffolk), Schafe (1662 Wuerttemberg, Germany), Schaffe (1636 Baden, Germany), Shaffe (1624 Essex), Shafey (1850 US).  Text in the brackets references the year & location from earliest records on the Internet Genealogy Service.
Chaffin Coat of Armswoodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Chaffin/Chafin surname from the Internet Genealogy Service starts in 1533 in New Sarum (Salisbury), Dorset; Mere (1566), Wiltshire; and Bruton (1639), Somerset, England.  The surname also starts in 1691 in Haute-Saone, France.  Thomas Chaffin emigrated from England to the Virginia colony in 1664 and may have started this line in the United States. Click to view the Chaffin Coat of Arms. It is unknown at this point if the Chaffin (plus variations) surname is related to the Chafe (plus variations) surname.  However in the 1500's this surname appears in LDS to originate in southwest England along with the other Chafe surnames.  In the US, towns with this name include Chaffinville, MA, Chaffin Crossing, TX, Chaffin Place, TX, Chafin Branch, WV.  City names with Chaffin do not appear in any other country in the world.  From the LDS website, for 297 Chaffin/Chafin surnames (exact spelling/duplicates eliminated) born between 1537 and 1886, the highest proportion were born in Dorset (22%), then Somerset (13%), then Wiltshire (10%) and then London 8%).  Looking closely on a subset of 139 names between 1537 and 1699 the distribution is Dorset (38%), Wiltshire (17%), Somerset (13%), London (5%).  Some of the cities of note are Bruton, Somerset - 28 miles northeast of Chaffcombe, Mere, Wiltshire - 35 miles northeast of Chaffcombe and Chettle, Dorset - 40 miles east of Chaffcombe.  There was a famous battle of the Civil War fought at Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights Virginia, September 29-30, 1864.  Eugene Chafin was on the electoral ballot in 1912 against Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. Chaffin/Chafin/Chafins surnames are 4 to 1 more prevalent than Chaffee/Chaffey/Chafe in the United States, however there are far fewer place names in the US with this surname.  In the UK, Chaffin represents 11% of the Chaffey/Chaffe/Chafe/Chaffin total.  Based on LDS data compiled from 1567 to 1727, Chaffin/Chafin accounted for 9% of the surname total.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)How many of the surname were present at the time of immigration to America (1600-1700's) is difficult to determine.  The surname population growth between 1851and 1901 (Table 6) was about 10% per decade.  The Chaffey surname grew in proportion to the total while the Chaff and Chaffy surnames decreased.  Assuming that the likely age for immigration was between 20 and 39 year, then number of males available for migration (or procreation) at any time was Chaffey/Chaffy in the late 1700's were likely: 55, Chaffe/Chaff: 27, Chaffin: 15.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Onomastikon (Dictionary of Names) claims the Chaffe and Chaff surname is based on a nickname given to describe appearance, tastes, clothes, temper, morals.  Chafer and Chaffer are based on a trade name by which one earned a living to become important as a means of identification.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Why there are not a significant number of Chafe's or Chaffee's in England at present is a mystery.  It appears that the family surname expanded in North America and to some degree in Australia and New Zealand.  In England the most common present form of the surname is Chaffey followed by Chaffe (Table 9). In Australia the growth of the name was likely tied to families related to George Chaffey starting in 1887.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The first Chaffe in America was Matthew Chaffe, in Boston August 14 1636. However the starting point in America was likely Thomas Chaffe who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1637.  By 1660 Thomas had relocated to the Barrington, Rhode Island area where he raised his family.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The first Chafe in Canada was John Chafe (c1685-1759) from Ipplepen/Berry Pomeroy in Devon. He lived in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland starting in 1705/6.  Many Chafe's left Newfoundland and moved to Ontario and Nova Scotia. Table 12 shows the current worldwide distribution of the Chafe family name. Newfoundland still has 61% of Canada's Chafe surname, 41% worldwide.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Stonepics database contains a list of 395 Chafe and 100 Chaffey cemetery locations in Newfoundland.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)One branch of the family was tied closely to Somerset.  The Chaffey name first appeared around 1560 (from LDS).  The ancestors of the name in North America have been traced back with certainty until 1707, and to a lesser degree until 1631. 
Those in the family owned a stone quarry on Ham Hill overlooking Stoke-sub-Hamden and Norton (5 miles west of Yeovil).  This family line was very dynamic and being relatively recent emigrants to North America, fairly well documented.  There were a number of significant family members who made an impact in Ontario, Quebec, California, Pennsylvania and south east Australia. The City of Ontario, California was founded in 1882 by descendants George and William from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. They then went on to found Mildura in Australia in 1887.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Forty Five Chaffey's were registered in Jeffrey's along the Crabbs River, on the west coast of Newfoundland in 1921.  This number was reduced to 25 by 1945. There is still a strong  presence of in Jeffery's, St Davids and Stephenville today.  The west coast line of Chaffey's from Jeffery's dates back to John Chaffey from Milton Abbas, England who died Dec 28, 1811.  His wife Elizabeth was born in 1754.  An east cost line of Chaffey's ranged from the east side of Notre Dame Bay to the south side of Bonavista Bay.  The death of Thomas Chaffey was recorded in 1790 in Bonavista Bay Anglican Church.  A Thomas Chaffey married Mary Brushett in 1805 at Bonavista.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)William Chaaf or Chafe or Chaff was a prisoner convicted in Exeter in 1787 and was on the Charlotte one of six convict ships in the First Fleet that sailed from Portsmouth to New South Wales in 1787. Thomas Chaffey sailed from Plymouth to Australia on the HMS Scarborough with the Second Fleet in 1790.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaffhay Farm is located in Devon near Axminister, 8 miles south west of Chaffcombe near the Yarty River.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The City of Chaffee, Missouri was founded in 1905 and based on the Chaffee Real Estate Company in St. Louis that was involved in the land purchase.  Other US cities that are called Chaffee are located in New York, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Washington, California and West Virginia. There are two Chaffee Brook's in Massachusetts and Maine.  There are two Chaffee Creek's in New York and Wisconsin.  There are two Chaffee Run's in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  Chaffee Gulch's occur in Colorado and Wyoming. Chaffee Well is located in New Mexico and Chaffe Ravine is located in Minnesota . There is Chaffee Corners, Pennsylvania; Chaffee Village, Texas; Chaffee Ranch, South Dakota and Chaffeeville, Connecticut. The town of Chaffey is located in Wisconsin. Chaffey Township in located in Ontario's Muskoka District. Chaffey Mills and Locks are located in Ontario. Chaffey is an Electoral District for the South Australian Government.  There is an Island Chaffee off Long Beach, California. There is also a Chaffee Mountain, elevation 2562 ft, 20 miles north of Rutland Vermont, and a Lake Chaffee in Connecticut.  Chaffey Dam and Reservoir supplies water for the town of Tamworth in New South Wales.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Worldwide, there are at least 34 streets/roads/lanes named Chaffee, 15 for Chaffey, 3 for Chafee and 2 for Chafe.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Famous and influential Chaffe/Chaffee/Chafee/Chaffey/Chafe's include US Generals, pioneers in the US midwest, Canada and Australia, Senators, an astronaut and multimillionaire tycoons.  There are also numerous interactions with family members and important figures in history, such as Abraham Lincoln, William Bligh, Walt Disney, Queen Victoria, Charles Goodyear, Oscar Wilde,
Harpo Marx and Harry Houdini.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)There are two Chaffe's and three Chaffey's living in South Africa (2003).  There are also 8 Chafeker's.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaffee Crater is located on the far side of the moon, and named after Astronaut Roger Chaffee. Chaffee Hill is located on Mars.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The US M24 Chaffee Light Tank was christened in honour of General Adna R Chaffee Jr. Fort Chaffee in Arkansas was built in 1941 was also named after the General. Three US Navy ships have been named after the family surname.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)From the a list of Unincorporated and Unofficial Names of Massachusetts Communities, Oxford, Worcester is unofficially called Chaffee and Holden, Worcester is unofficially called Chaffinville.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Kenny-Chaffe Syndrome is a skeletal disorder observed as thickening of the long bones, thin marrow cavities in the bones, and abnormalities of the head and eyes.  It is related to Hypoparathyroidism. 
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chafe is ranked number 61st in a list of the most common surnames found on tombstones in Newfoundland.  There were 575 tombstone locations, compared with the leading surname, Parsons with 2517.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Wyland C. Chaffey, London, 1890 published "Lymph-stasis, or retardation of lymph, as an element in the causation of disease; especially in regard to scrofula and tuberculosis".
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)A list of Devon Parishes can be found on the GENUKI website. 
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Devon 1891 Census Project shows Chaffe's living in the Buckfastleigh area.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Exeter Cathedral Link has online, records of births/death/marriages.  The Chafe and Chaffe's listed are from 1660 to 1740 and reflect primarily the Chafe surname.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)In 20 of this 38 plays, Shakespeare mentions chafed 10 times, chafe 7 times, chafes 5 times, chafing 3 times and enchafed 2 times
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Between
1773 to 1778, 6 Chaffey, 2 Chaffie, 1 Chafie, 1 Chafin, 1 Chafy were registered with the Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury Newspapers.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The 1807 Dorset Poll Book shows four "Chaffey"s registered (no other "Chaf" variations reported).
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)An 1871 census of Bath had the following surnames registered: 8 Chaffey, 6 Chaffin, 1 Chaffing, 5 Chaffle.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)In the American Civil War the following are the number of soldiers who fought: Chaffey 13 Union, Chafe 2 Union, 6 Chaffe Union, 2 Chaffe Confederate, 55 Chafee Union, 5 Chafee Confederate, 238 Chaffee Union, 7 Chaffee Confederate.  Taking out possible duplicates: Chaffey 12 Union, Chafe 2 Union, 6 Chaffe Union, 2 Chaffe Confederate, 47 Chafee Union, 3 Chafee Confederate, 199 Chaffee Union, 7 Chaffee Confederate.  Of all the ranks there were 4 Captains, 6 Lieutenants 6, 35 Sergents, 20 Corporals, 183 Privates, 4 Surgeons and 24 of other ranks.  In the war there were a total of 3,253,363 veterans, the surname represent 0.0085% of this total.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Marriage/burial registration in the Devon/Plymouth taken in 1754-1812 and in 1813-1837 show the surname distribution by area (Table 5)
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Surnames belonging to ship owners and seafarers based out of Atlantic Canada in the 1900's include: Chafe, Chaff, Chaffe, Chaffey, and Chaffy.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)In the 1871 Lovell's Directory 22% of the male residents (35 out of 160) of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland had a surname of Chafe. 19 were fishermen and 13 were planters. The next largest family surname was Williams with 12.  In the 1870-71 McAlpine's Directory, 19 out of 131 families were Chafe's (14%); 13 were planters, 3 were fishermen and 2 were farmers.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)There are 29 Chaif family names in Canada; 13 Quebec, 5 BC, 10 Ontario; 1 in Arizona and one in the UK.  This variation appears to be related to the Chafe spelling of the surname in from Newfoundland Canada.  It is likely that this variation evolved in Quebec, as the surname spelling reflected the French Canadian pronunciation of Chafe.  This break could have happened around 1873.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)A study was made of 275 marriages of Chaffey's from
1584 to 1837 in the Sherborne area.  The surnames all end with a "y" or "ee" sound   It was found that the name distribution was Chaffey 56%, Chaffy 15%, Chafie 7%, Chafy  7%, Chafey 6%, Chaffie 6%.  They show a large number of Chaffey's and Chaffy's from Sherborne, Holwell, Corfe Castle and Folke.  A map of the name distribution is located at this link.  This is based on the work by Richard Chaffey who's ancestor was Thomas Chaffey (d.1750).
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The third letter in the Phoenician alphabet (c.900 BC), that represents the present letter "C",  is "ד".  "ד", called gīmel, represents the camel and
evolved later into the Latin "C" and "G".  This same character was found in the Greek (c.750 BC) and Etruscan (c.650 BC) alphabet.  It evolved into the Latin form ("C") around 500 BC.  The Greeks renamed the symbol gamma, pronouncing it as a cross between a hard "g" and a French "r". The Etruscans changed the pronunciation from hard "g" to hard "c", and wrote it as "C". The Romans also used "C" and created a new letter to represent the hard "g" by adding a flourish to the "C", giving "G". In English, "C" is pronounced "k" or "c", and "G" is pronounced as a hard "g" or soft "g".
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaf (or Kaf) is the English equivalent of the 11th letter in the Hebrew alphabet (c.200 BC).  It sounds like the words Loch Ness or Tutankhamon.  It is written like a reverse "C".  The letter is formed with two strokes of the pen. The roof and the first part of the foot are formed by the first stroke (a horizontal stroke from the left to right which is brought downward). A second such stroke, brought upward forms the base and the second half of the foot to complete the letter. The Final Chaf (perhaps like our upper case), written at the end of the word looks like an upside down "L" or "ד" - very similar to the Phoenician symbol. Note, Hebrew is written from right to left. 
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaff in the Bible: the refuse of winnowed corn. It was usually burned (Exodus 15:7; Isaiah 5:24; Matthew 3:12). This word sometimes, however, means dried grass or hay (Isaiah 5:24; 33:11). Chaff is used as a figure of abortive wickedness (Psalms 1:4; Matthew 3:12). False doctrines are also called chaff (Jeremiah 23:28), or more correctly rendered "chopped straw." The destruction of the wicked, and their powerlessness, are likened to the carrying away of chaff by the wind (Isaiah 17:13; Hosea 13:3; Zephaniah 2:2).  Chaf (mar, "bitter"; hence, bitter of soul, deadly, destructive, ferocious, "as a bear robbed of her whelps"): Occurs in II Samuel 17:8; used by Hushai to characterize David's supposedly fierce mood at the time of Absalom's armed rebellion.
Found in Job 21:18; Psalms 1:4; Psalms 35:5; Isaiah 17:13; Isaiah 29:5; Isaiah 41:15; Hosea 13:3; Zephaniah 2:2.  Chashash, occurs in two verses (Isaiah 5:24 and Isaiah 33:11). Similar to "chashish," an Arabic word which, as commonly used, denotes grass either standing or cut, green or dry, although, strictly speaking, dry or cut grass alone. In the Revised Version (British and American) Isaiah 5:24 the translation is "dry grass."  Tebhen, is translated "chaff" in the King James Version (Jeremiah 23:28). The same word is rendered "straw" in the Revised Version (British and American) (compare Arabic tibn).
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Old English (Anglo Saxon) evolved c.1000.  The alphabet and pronunciation was heavily influenced by Germanic and Latin/Roman (spoken by clerics) variations and to some degree, Celtic and Viking.  Middle English evolved between 1100 and 1500. "C" and "g" had a set of variations:  Before back vowels (a, o, and u), they were pronounced like "c" in cat and "g" in guess; before front vowels (y, i, e, and ), they were pronounced like "ch" in chat and "y" in yes.  The same goes for "h":  At the beginning of a word, is is pronounced like our "h"; before back vowels, it sounded like the "ch" in the German name Bach; before front vowels, it sounded like the
"ch" in the German word ich.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Not much is written on the internet on the reasons for the "ee", "e", "ey" variations.  The following is an analysis on a Scottish surname diminutive. Examination of records relating to Perth, Scotland shows that different spellings of the name Cree were used at different period. Apart from some periods of overlap, the spelling is by and large consistent within each period. The earliest records found refer to John of Cre in 1459 and 1462. A century later, we find Johne Cre, Richart Cre, Walter Cre and Patrick Cree referred to in a document of 1547. Early deeds from 1570 to about 1610 use the spelling CREY. These overlap with the development of the spelling CRIE which lasted into the 19th Century. Again there is overlap as the modern version, CREE, starts to emerge early in the Eighteenth Century. Cree probably always pronounced the same. It is important to realize that these spelling variations are not due to changes in the spoken version of the name, which probably remained very consistent over the whole period. They simply mark the changing ways in which the sound which we now write as "ee" was written down. This double "ee" combination did not exist before about 1700, the sound that it now represents being written as "ie" or "ei", before that as "ey", and even earlier as "e". The name Cree, however it was spelled, has probably always been pronounced as we pronounce it today.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)To add further to the confusion of the surname, one also has to look at the evolution of the letters "f" and "s
", which depending on the particular time in history, was written quite differently.  Also differences evolved between the record on paper and that engraved on stone.  Very early graves which are written in Latin, and the "f" and "s" were written either as 1. a capital 'S' as we would write it today, 2. a small 's' was very similar to an "f" except if you looked closely the "f"' had a small joined dash before the letter, 3. two small "s" together (such as ness or less etc.) were written first one as in No. 2. and the second as we would write it today. and 4. a small "f" was so very similar to a small "s" as in No. 2 but with the dash write through the letter. The position of the "s" in the word or sentance is also important.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Soundex code for the all major variants of the surname is C100.  The "C" and t
he 'F" are the key consonants that derive the code with "H", 'Y" and the vowels not adding to the result.  The Soundex code for Chaffin is C150, Chase is C200, Shase is S100. Soundex converts a surname to a 4 digit code: the first letter of the name followed by 3 numbers which represent letter sounds. 
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Using the Metaphone matching algorithm, Chaff/Chafe/Chaffee/Chaffey is coded as XF, Chaffin is XFN, Chase is XS, Shase is XS. Metaphone converts a surname to a code of 16 possible consonant sounds.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Commonwealth and US Family Members who died in WWI and WWII are shown in Table 7.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Though likely unrelated to the Chafe surname, the small church/village of Junta de Freguesia de Chaf is located near the Atlantic coast 7km south of Viana do Castelo, Portugal (41.6515N 8.7996W), 59km north of Porto.  The population in 2000 was 2490.  Its coat of arms contains three red arrows.  Newfoundland and Portuguese fishermen shared the same fishing grounds and visited each others harbours for many years in the 1700's.  
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Over 550 Chafe's are registered on the Internet Genealogy Service.  A list of all the Chafe names from England gathered from this site can be found on this page.
From this website between 1479 and 1799 the following can be ascertained:
Last Name: Chaffe 23%, Chaffey 21%, Chafe 9%, Chaff 9%, Chaffy 7%, Chaffin 6%, Chafy 6%, Chafey 5%, Other 10%.
First Name: John 12%, Mary 9%, Thomas 7%, William 6%, Elizabeth 5%,  Samuel 4%, Richard 3%,  Ann 3%, Robert 3%, Joan 3%, James 3% Margaret 2%, Other 37%.
Gender: Female 47%, Male 53%.
Event: Christening 43%, Marriage 30%, Death 2%.
Location: Buckfastleigh 18%, Holwell/Sherborne 10% (18 miles east of Chard), Exeter 4%, Folke 4% (20 miles east of Chard), Bishops Caundle 3% (20 miles east of Chard), Stoke Sub Hamdon 2% (10 miles northeast of Chard), London 2%, Martock 2%, Corfe Castle 2% (10 miles south of Poole), Widecombe In The Moor 1% (4 miles north of Buckfastleigh), Berry Pomeroy 1% (7 miles east of Buckfastleigh), Ugborough 1% (8 miles south of Buckfastleigh).
Spelling: Table 4 shows that the Chafe (spoken with a silent "e") surname spelling is far more prevalent west of Chaffcombe in Devon (92%).  The Chaffee (spoken with a long "e") surname is far more prevalent east of Chaffcombe in Dorset and Somerset (97%).


woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) Chafarinas IslandsThe Chafarinas or Zapparines are a group of islands belonging to Spain off the north coast of Morocco, near the Algerian frontier, 2 miles to the north of Cape del Agna, 3.5 km (2.17 mi) off the Moroccan town of Ra'su l-Ma' (35.1835N 2.4349W). The largest of these isles, Del Congreso, is rocky and hilly. The largest of these isles, Del Congreso, is rocky and hilly. It has a watchhouse on the coast nearest to Morocco. Isabella II, the central island, contains several batteries, barracks and a penal convict settlement. The third island is Isla del Rey. The Chafarinas were known to the Romans as Tres Insulac and to the Arabs as Zaf Ran.  They were occupied by Spain in 1847, a few days before the a French expedition was sent from Oran to annex the islands to Algeria. The population of the islands is under 1000.  They form the best anchorage along the Moroccan Mediterranean coast.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Chase (Chace) surname is likely not related to the Chafe surname.  Families from the Buckinghamshire area of England immigrated to the US around 1638.  That said, the use of long form of "s" that was written like an "f" without the horizontal bar could have lead to confusion between the surnames. This designation fell out of fashion with printers about 1780.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) Chaff is a defensive counter measure used on aircraft to confuse radar and heat seeking missiles. Chaff is made of glass silicate fibers with an aluminum coating. The fibers are approximately 60% glass fiber and 40% aluminum by weight. The typical US Air Force RR-188 chaff bundle contains about 150 g of chaff or about 5 million fibers. The fibres are 25 microns in diameter and typically 1 to 2 cm in length. In 1997, the Air Force used about 1.8 million bundles worldwide. A chaff cutter dispensing system provides the electronic warfare operator with the option of selecting, while in flight, various tuned dipole lengths to meet changing threats in frequency ranges from A- to K-band.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)Eurasian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) The Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), the common English name of a bird belonging to the family Fringillidae, and distinguished in the male sex, by the deep greyish blue of its crown feathers, the yellowish green of its rump, the white of the wing coverts, so disposed as to form two conspicuous bars, and the reddish brown passing into vinous red of the throat and breast. On the continent of Europe the chaffinch is a favourite song-bird, especially in Germany, where  great attention is paid to its training. It is the UKs second most common breeding bird.  The species was named by Linnaeus (one of the fathers of modern ecology) in his home country of Sweden.  The Eurasian Chiffchaff warbler (Phylloscopus collybita) is
widespread and numerous in most of Europe in summer, confined to southwest Europe in winter and ranges as far as Siberia and northern Iran.  It prefers wooded areas and is can be identified by its characteristic "chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff" song.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) A Chafing Dish has two pans, the lower pan for holding hot water or a fuel, the upper pan with long handle for holding food to be cooked.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaff is an algorithm for solving instances of the boolean satisfiability (SAT) problem. It was designed by researchers at Princeton University. Some available implementations of the algorithm in software are mChaff and zChaff, the latter one being the most widely known and used.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) A Chafe Kit is a protective leather sheathing used by sailors to cover mooring lines and reduce the wear on the rope.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)CHAFE-PRO is a liner designed to be a cost effective means for preventing abrasion to nylon, Kevlar, Spectra, and polyester marine lines.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chafewax or Chaff-wax - An officer in chancery who fits the wax for sealing, to the writs, commissions and other instruments then made to be issued out. He is probably so called because he warms (chaufe) the wax.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)In Australia youth slang, to chafe is to suck up or brown nose to someone.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaffhaye is a special horse feed that the Queen of England had developed and was patented to feed her horses.
Chaffweedwoodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chaffweed - (Centunculus minimus L.)  Also known as False Pimpernel. Family Primulaceae. Chaffweed is a perennial which reproduces by seeds and thick, deep seated, woody vertical roots. The stems are prostrate or drooping on the ground, forming mats 1/2 to 2 feet in diameter. The small whitish flowers are in dense clusters around the stem at the base of the leaves. The rounded seeds are light reddish brown and shining. A native of tropical America, chaffweed has become one of the most pernicious pests in the US south.
Found also along roadsides, city streets, gardens, and cultivated fields; up to 5,500 feet elevation; flowering June to November. Chaffweed has very similar stems and leaves to the Scarlet Pimpernel, but the flowers are much smaller (1 to 3 mm) and have white petals.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)A chaff cutter was used to cut up straw for animal feed and bedding. It was powered by a stationary steam engine.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) Chafe, Zamfara State, Nigeria, is located 25 miles southeast of the state capital Gasau in upper-central Nigeria (11.953N 6.9221E
).  The name is likely Islamic and historically tied to the Hausa tribe.  The Chafe surname exists in Nigeria and is used by a number of politicians, doctors and researchers.  The population in 2004 was 10,100.  There is a crater on Mars named after Chafe,  Nigeria.  It was designated in 1988 and is located at 15.3N 257.7W, Amenthes Region, Quadrangle MC14.  The crater is 4.8 kilometres in diameter.
Chafe,Zamfara State, Nigeria Chafe Crater. Mars

Shakespeare's Twenty Plays Where the Word "Chafe" is Mentioned (1591-1613)
 Using the Original Spelling in the Published Versions

King Henry VI, Part ii, 1591
Act 3, Scene 2, KING HENRY VI
For iudgement onely doth belong to thee:
Faine would I go to chafe his palie lips,
With twenty thousand kisses, and to draine
King Henry VI, Part iii, 1591
Act 2, Scene 5, PRINCE EDWARD
Fly Father, flye: for all your Friends are fled.
And Warwicke rages like a chafed Bull:
Away, for death doth hold vs in pursuite.
Venus and Adonis, 1593
Stanza 53
All swolne with chafing, downe Adonis sits,
Banning his boystrous, and vnruly beast;
And now the happie season once more fits
Stanza 78, 
He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheekes,
He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard,
He chafes her lips, a thousand wayes he seekes,
Stanza 109
And more then so, presenteth to mine eye,
The picture of an angrie chafing boare,
Vnder whose sharpe fangs, on his backe doth lye,
Titus Andronicus
, 1594
Ac t 4, Scene 2, AARON
Why so braue Lords, when we ioyne in league
I am a Lambe: but if you braue the Moore,
The chafed Bore, the mountaine Lyonesse,
The Ocean swells not so as Aaron stormes:
The Taming of the Shrew, 1594
Act 1, Scene 2, PETRUCHIO
Haue I not in my time heard Lions rore?
Haue I not heard the sea, puft vp with windes,
Rage like an angry Boare, chafed with sweat?
Haue I not heard great Ordnance in the field?
Act 2, Scene 1, KATHARINA:
I chafe you if I tarrie. Let me go.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1595
Act 3, Scene 1, PROTEUS
But Valentine, if he be tane, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so,
When she for thy repeale was suppliant,
King John
, 1597
France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
A chafed lion by the mortal paw,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Julius Caesar, 1600
Act 1, Scene 2, CASSIUS
I was borne free as Caesar, so were you,
We both haue fed as well, and we can both
Endure the Winters cold, as well as hee.
For once, vpon a Rawe and Gustie day,
The troubled Tyber, chafing with her Shores,
The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1601 
Act 5, Scene 3, MISTRESS PAGE
Fare you well (Sir:) my husband will not reioyce
so much at the abuse of Falstaffe, as he will chafe
at the Doctors marrying my daughter: 
(Quarto) 4.6, FORD
I faith M. Page neuer chafe your selfe,
She hath made her choise wheras her hart was fixt,
The History of Thomas Lord Cromwell, 1602
(may not have been written by Shakespeare)
Folio 3.2, BEDFORD
As Cicero the famous man of Rome,
His words would be as chaffe against the wind.
Sweet tongu'd Ulisses, that made Ajax mad,
Were he and his tongue in this speaker's head,
Troilus and Cressida, 1602
Prologue, CHORUS
In Troy there lyes the Scene: From Iles of Greece
The Princes Orgillous, their high blood chaf'd
Haue to the Port of Athens sent their shippes
Fraught with the ministers and instruments of cruell Warre
Act 1, Scene 2, PANDARUS
Iupiter quoth shee, which of these heires is Paris my husband?
the forked one quoth he, pluckt out and giue it him:
but there was such laughing, and Hellen so blusht,
and Paris so chaf't, and all the rest so
laught that it past.
Act 4, Scene 5, AJAX
Do not chafe thee cozen.
And you Achilles, let these threats alone,
Till accident or purpose bring you too't,
You may haue euery day enough of Hector,
Othello, The Moor of Venice, 1605
Act 2, Scene 1, SECOND MAN
I neuer did like mollestation view
On the enchafed Flood.
King Lear
, 1606
Act 4, Scene 6, EDGAR
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring Surge,
That on th' vnnumbred idle Pebble chafes
Cannot be heard so high. Ile looke no more,
Macbeth, 1606
Be Lyon metled, proud, and take no care:
Who chafes, who frets, or where Conspirers are:
Macbeth shall neuer vanquish'd be,
Antony and Cleopatra, 1607
Act 1, Scene 3, CLEOPATRA
And Target. Still he mends.
But this is not the best. Looke prythee Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman do's become
The carriage of his chafe.
Timon of Athens, 1608
Act 1, Scene 1, POET
Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
Provokes itself and like the current flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
Coriolanus, 1608
Act 3, Scene 3, BRUTUS
Go about it,
Put him to Choller straite, he hath bene vs'd
Euer to conquer, and to haue his worth
Of contradiction. Being once chaft, he cannot
Be rein'd againe to Temperance, then he speakes
Cymbeline, 1610
Act 4, Scene 2, BELARIUS
As Zephires blowing below the Violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet, as rough
(Their Royall blood enchaf'd) as the rud'st winde,
The Winter's Tale, 1611
Act 3, Scene 3, CLOWN
I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages,
how it takes vp the shore, but that's not to the point:
Oh, the most pitteous cry of the poore soules,
King Henry VIII, 1613
Act 1, Scene 1, NORFOLK
What are you chaff'd?
Aske God for Temp'rance, that's th' appliance onely
Which your disease requires.
What should this meane?
What sodaine Anger's this? How haue I reap'd it?
He parted Frowning from me, as if Ruine
Leap'd from his Eyes. So lookes the chafed Lyon
- In total, chafed is mentioned 10 times, chafe 7 times, chafes 5 times, chafing 3 times and enchafed 2 times
- In his 38 plays, Shakespeare used a vocabulary of 17,000 different words, 3,000 of these he introduced new to the English language. On average, a well educated person knows 4,200 different words. 


1. Chafe - soreness and warmth caused by friction; "he had a nasty chafe on his knee".
Soreness, tenderness - a pain that is felt when the area is touched.
2. chafe - anger produced by some annoying irritation.
Vexation, annoyance.
Anger, ire, choler - a strong emotion; a feeling that is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance.
Temper, irritation, pique - a sudden outburst of anger; "his temper sparked like damp firewood".
Frustration - a feeling of annoyance at being hindered or criticized; "her constant complaints were the main source of his frustration"
Aggravation, exasperation - an exasperated feeling of annoyance.
Harassment, torment - a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented; "so great was his harassment that he wanted to destroy his tormentors".
Displeasure - the feeling of being displeased or annoyed or dissatisfied with someone or something.
1. Chafe - become or make sore by or as if by rubbing.
Gall, fret.
Irritate - excite to an abnormal condition, of chafe or inflame; "Aspirin irritates my stomach".
2. Chafe - feel extreme irritation or anger; "He was chafing at her suggestion that he stay at home while she went on a vacation".
Feel, experience - undergo an emotional sensation; "She felt resentful"; "He felt regret".
Annoy, devil, gravel, irritate, nark, rile, vex, nettle, rag, bother, chafe, get at, get to - cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations; "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me"; "It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves".
3. Chafe - cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations; "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me"; "It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves".
Annoy, devil, gravel, irritate, nark, rile, vex, nettle, rag, bother, get at, get to, get under one's skin, get - irritate; "Her childish behaviour really get to me"; "His lying really gets me".
Eat into, rankle, grate, fret - gnaw into; make resentful or angry; "The unjustice rankled her"; "his resentment festered".
Chafe - feel extreme irritation or anger; "He was chafing at her suggestion that he stay at home while she went on a vacation".
Peeve - cause to be annoyed, irritated, or resentful.
Ruffle - trouble or vex; "ruffle somebody's composure".
Fret - cause annoyance in.
Beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague, provoke - annoy continually or chronically; "He is known to harry his staff when he is overworked"; "This man harasses his female co-workers".
Antagonize, antagonize - provoke the hostility of; "Don't antagonize your boss".
Displease - give displeasure to.
4. Chafe - tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading; "This leash chafes the dog's neck".
Abrade, abrase, corrade, rub down, rub off - wear away.
5. Chafe - cause friction; "my sweater scratches".
Scratch, rub, fray, fret.
Adjoin, contact, touch, meet - be in direct physical contact with; make contact; "The two buildings touch"; "Their hands touched"; "The wire must not contact the metal cover"; "The surfaces contact at this point".
6. Chafe - warm by rubbing, as with the hands.
Warm - make warm or warmer; "The blanket will warm you".

1. Chaff - material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds.
Husk, shuck, stalk, stubble, straw.
Bran - broken husks of the seeds of cereal grains that are separated from the flour by sifting.
Plant material - material derived from plants 2. chaff - foil in thin strips; ejected into the air as a radar countermeasure.
Foil - a piece of thin and flexible sheet metal; "the photographic film was wrapped in foil" Verb 1. chaff - be silly or tease one another; "After we relaxed, we just kidded around"
Banter, jolly, josh, kid.
Bait, tantalise, tantalize, taunt, razz, twit, tease, cod, rag, rally, ride - harass with persistent criticism or carping; "The children teased the new teacher"; "Don't ride me so hard over my failure"; "His fellow workers razzed him when he wore a jacket and tie".

1.Chaffy - abounding in or covered with or resembling or consisting of chaff.
2. Chaffy - of no value; "an empty chaffy book by a foolish chaffy fellow".
Worthless - lacking in excellence or value; "a worthless idler".

1. Chaffer - wrangle (over a price, terms of an agreement, etc.); "Let's not haggle over a few dollars", haggle, higgle, huckster.
Bargain down, beat down - persuade the seller to accept a lower price; "She beat the merchant down $100".
Bargain, dicker - negotiate the terms of an exchange; "We bargained for a beautiful rug in the bazaar" .
2. Chaffer - talk socially without exchanging too much information; "the men were sitting in the cafe and shooting the breeze", chew the fat, chitchat, claver, confab, jaw, natter, Shoot the breeze, chat, confabulate, gossip, chatter, visit.
Converse, discourse - carry on a conversation.
Jawbone, schmoose, schmooze, shmoose, shmooze - talk idly or casually and in a friendly way.

Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897):
Chaff the refuse of winnowed corn. It was usually burned (Ex. 15:7; Isa. 5:24; Matt. 3:12). This word sometimes, however, means dried grass or hay (Isa. 5:24; 33:11). Chaff is used as a figure of abortive wickedness (Ps. 1:4; Matt. 3:12). False doctrines are also called chaff (Jer. 23:28), or more correctly rendered "chopped straw." The destruction of the wicked, and their powerlessness, are likened to the carrying away of chaff by the wind (Isa. 17:13; Hos. 13:3; Zeph. 2:2).

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April 20, 2020