What is the origin of the last name Chandler?

The last name Chandler has its origins in medieval England, deriving from the occupation of a candle-maker or "chandler." The word "chandler" itself stems from the Old French term "chandelier," meaning candle. This occupational surname became hereditary over time, creating a lineage of Chandlers whose ancestors were involved in the trade of creating and selling candles.

Countries of origin for the last name Chandler

The last name Chandler is an English occupational surname that derives from the Old French word “chandelier” meaning “candlestick maker”. The name was first recorded in the 13th century and was likely given to people who worked as candlemakers or were associated with the trade. The occupation of candlestick maker was an important and necessary profession in medieval times when candles played a vital role in providing light.

The surname Chandler has several variations and spellings including Chandlers, Chaundler, Chaundeler, and Chaundos among others. These variations can be attributed to different spellings of the name over time and regional differences in pronunciation and dialect. The spelling of surnames was not standardized until relatively recently, and as a result, variations and alternate spellings are common.

The surname Chandler has a long history in England and is particularly associated with the southern counties of Sussex, Hampshire, and Kent. The name has also spread to other English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand through British colonization and migration.

One notable individual with the last name Chandler is Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), an American-British novelist and screenwriter. He is best known for his hard-boiled detective novels featuring the fictional detective Philip Marlowe. Raymond Chandler’s work has had a significant impact on the detective fiction genre and has influenced numerous writers and filmmakers.

The meaning of the last name Chandler is strongly tied to its occupational origin and denotes a person involved in the trade of candlemaking. The surname encapsulates the skill, craftsmanship, and historical significance of this profession. By exploring the origins and variations of the name Chandler, we gain insights into the historical and cultural context in which it emerged.

While the known facts about the last name Chandler provide a comprehensive understanding of its meaning and origins, there are always unanswered questions and possibilities to consider. Delving into the etymology and historical research of a surname like Chandler allows us to uncover hidden connections, discover untold stories, and appreciate the rich tapestry of human history.

Interesting facts about the last name Chandler

  • The surname Chandler is of occupational origin, derived from the Middle English word “chaundeler” or “chaundelere,” which means a candlemaker or candle seller.
  • In medieval times, chandlers played an important role in society as candles were a primary source of lighting before the invention of electricity.
  • Chandlers often held a high status in their communities and their trade was considered vital for religious and domestic purposes.
  • The surname Chandler is found in various forms across different regions, including Chandeler, Chandelerre, Chaundler, and Chaoundeler.
  • During the Middle Ages, the Chandler’s Company was one of the twelve Great Livery Companies in London, responsible for regulating the candlemaking trade.
  • The surname Chandler was first recorded in England in the 13th century, and some notable historical figures bearing this name include William Chandler, an influential 14th-century English judge, and Richard Chandler, a renowned 18th-century English travel writer.
  • The Chandler name has spread beyond England, and variations are found in other countries, such as Chandlers in Scotland and Chandleri in Italy.
  • In the United States, Chandler ranks as the 287th most common surname, with significant concentrations in Southern states.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Chandler include Raymond Chandler, a prominent American novelist and screenwriter known for his detective fiction, and Kyle Chandler, an American actor best known for his role in the TV series “Friday Night Lights.”
  • The Chandler family motto is “Candor Dat Viribus Alas,” which translates to “Candor gives wings to strength” in English.

Name Rank


There are around 79186 people with the last name Chandler in the US

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