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2,397 study surnames with us
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About the study

I have been researching the Childerhouse family for many years on behalf of my wife Susan, who is descended from William Childerhouse b1674 and his wife Jane who were married in Besthorpe, Norfolk around 1690.

Childerhouse is an unusual name and so I thought it would be easy to trace her ancesters. Little did I know! After hitting several brick walls I thought that it might be useful to keep a database of all Births, Marriages and Deaths and also parish and census records for all Childerhouses so that maybe I could link them together.

Over the years and with the help of distant relatives I've managed to accumulate over 9000 records of the Childerhouse's and their families around the world.

Variant names

Early variants of Childerhouse tend to be written as heard so some names that appear in parish records include Childerhowes, Childerhowse, Childerhows, Childhows, Childerhus, Childerhous, Childerhus, Childrehus, Childris, Childress, Childerose, Childerows, Childrows, Childress and Childers.

Childerhose is a variant of the Childerhouse family name, prevalent in Canada and the United States.

Name origin

Although early ancestors appear to be from Norwich, many settled in the Attleborough and Besthorpe area of Norfolk, others settled nearby in Wymondham, Rockland All Saints, Rickinghall Superior, Saham Toney and surrounding areas.

Most were agricultural labourers, working the rich soil on Norfolk's farmland and didn't move far from where they were born. Occasionally they met a girl in a nearby village, married and started a new family, although not always in that order!

Later, some travelled to London and settled in St Pancras then to Feltham and Hatton in Middlesex, where they established a market garden. Others emigrated to Ontario, Canada and started a whole new branch of the family over there. Some emigrated to Australia and New Zealand.

Historical occurrences of the name

The Childerhouse name dates back to around the 12th century and has its origins in Norfolk, in the region of East Anglia, England.

The name is derived from cildra, plural for cild meaning child plus hus meaning house, hence cildrahus. There are many derivatives: Childerhose, Childrehus, Childerhous, Childerhouse, Childerhowse, Childress and Childers. It is likely that the name related to a school or orphanage attached to a church or monastery.

In 1230, the first recorded spelling of the family name was Hemericus de Chiderhus in The Close Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry III (1216-1272).

In 1272, William de Childerhous was recorded as a witness in the 'Fine Court Rolls of Norfolk'.

In 1273, The Vicar of Lakenham, County Norfolk was Bartholomew at Childerhouse and Alex del Childrehus was listed in the 1273 Hundred Rolls for Norfolk

William Childhus of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379

Guy Childerhouse was rector of Stiffkey, Norfolk, in 1413

William Childerhouse b1841 was the famous Town Cryer of Norfolk. he died in 1905.

Robert Erskine Childers (1870-1922) was a leading Irish Republican and author of the famous espionage thriller The Riddle of the Sands. His son Erskine Hamilton Childers (1905-1974) became the 4th President of Ireland.

Distribution of the name

In 1891, 64% of the Childerhouses were living in Norfolk, 8% in Suffolk, 9% in Yorkshire, 6% in Middlesex and 7% in London.


I have indexed all of the Childerhouse Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1837 to 2012 and the census returns for England and Wales from 1841 to 1911 plus the 1939 Register.

Other entries are from Parish Registers, the IGI, wills, electoral rolls and census records from Canada and the United States from 1790 to 1940.