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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Chapin family come from? When did the Chapin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Chapin family history?

The ancient name of Chapin finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a chaplain, the minister of a sanctuary or church. The name is derived from the Latin word capellanus

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Chapin family name include Chaplin, Chaplins, Chapline, Chaplyn, Cheplain, Chaplain, Chaiplin, Caplin, Caplines, Keplaine and many more.

First found in Hampshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chapin research. Another 219 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1559, 1634, 1677, 1696, 1591, 1672, 1659, 1660, 1598 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Chapin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 109 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chapin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Chapin surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Chapin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Samuel Chapin, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Josiah Chapin, who landed in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1659
  • Henry Chapin, who landed in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1689

Chapin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • J S Chapin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • E N Chapin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Chapin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J N Chapin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Chapin, aged 56, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1892


Chapin Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Augusta Chapin, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Belle Chapin, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Annette M. Chapin, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Arthur Chapin, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Arthur B. Chapin, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1909


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  • Brigadier-General Willis McDonald Chapin (1893-1960), American Senior Army Instructor, Officer Reserves, Maine (1946-1949)
  • Alaric B. Chapin (1848-1924), American soldier who received the Medal of Honor for gallantry in the American Civil War
  • Alfred Clark Chapin (1848-1936), American lawyer and politician
  • Andy Chapin (1951-1985), American keyboardist best known for his short stint with the Ricky Nelson Band (1985)
  • Arthur Chapin (1868-1943), American politician, Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts (1905 to 1909)
  • Billy Chapin (b. 1943), American child actor, active 1943 to 1959
  • Charles V. Chapin (1856-1941), American physician, Health Officer for Providence, Rhode Island (1884 to 1932)
  • Darrin Chapin (b. 1966), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Dwight Chapin (b. 1940), American politician, Deputy Assistant to the President Richard M. Nixon
  • Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880), American preacher and religious writer, editor of the Christian Leader

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  • A Genealogy of Henry Judson Chapin: His Ancestors, His Descendants by Gretchen E. Engel.
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  1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
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This page was last modified on 14 May 2014 at 08:59.

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