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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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 the oldest record of the name was Albert Chapelain, who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a tenant in chief and the king's chaplain. [1]


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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 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 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 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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  • Frederic Lincoln Chapin (1929-1989), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, 1978-80; Guatemala, 1981-84
  • John R. Chapin, American artist and illustrator
  • Mary W. Chapin (1820-1899), American educator and college president
  • Miles Chapin (b. 1954), American actor
  • Samuel Chapin (1598-1675), American founder of Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Tom Chapin (b. 1945), American musician
  • Frederick H. Chapin (1852-1900), American businessman, mountaineer, photographer, amateur geologist
  • Harry Chapin (1942-1981), American musician, best known for his songs "Taxi" and "Cats in the Cradle", posthumous recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Henry Chapin (1811-1878), American politician, three-term mayor of Worcester Massachusetts
  • Dr James Paul Chapin (1889-1964), American scientist and ornithologist

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  • A Genealogy of Henry Judson Chapin: His Ancestors, His Descendants by Gretchen E. Engel.
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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 4 February 2016 at 14:57.

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