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Meaning & History
French surname which indicated one who lived in an oak wood or near a conspicuous oak tree, derived from Old French chesne "oak" (Late Latin caxinus). In some cases it may be from a Louisiana dialectical term referring to "an area of shrub oak growing in sandy soil" (i.e., "beach ridge, usually composed of sand-sized material resting on clay or mud. Chenier is the term for the oak tree belts that mark the distribution of the ridges in the Mississippi Delta region").