Chodko Jurewicz, chamberlain to Grand Duke Vytenis, was probably the ancestor of the whole clan and gave it the name Chodkiewicz, meaning "son of Chodzko". Surnames were not used in that time, but apparently later in history, the name Chodzko became a surname after Christianization of Chodzko Juriewicz, father of Iwan (later Jan) Chodkiewicz. They bore the Chodkiewicz coat of arms. In 1572, Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz converted from Calvinism to Roman Catholicism with his two sons, which made them the first Polonized generation of the once Lithuanian-Ruthenian family. Emperor Charles V granted the title of "Count" of the Roman Empire to the whole family.