Capen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many centuries old Dalriadan-Scottish name Capen comes from the son of the blond one, or son of Alpin.

Early Origins of the Capen family

The surname Capen was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they were descended from King Kenneth MacAlpin who was murdered by the Picts near Dundee in the year 834. MacAlpin is generally considered to have been the first king to rule both Scots and Picts, and as such, was the first king of Scotland.

Further to the south, the variant Alby hailed from Alby, a parish, in the union of Aylsham, hundred of South Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk. "This place, which was anciently called Oslby, is intersected by the road from Aylsham to Cromer, and includes the hamlets of Alby Common and Alby Hill." [1]

Early History of the Capen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Capen research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1395, 1405, 1531, 1557, 1658, 1725 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Capen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Capen Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Capen has been spelled MacAlpine, MacAlpin, MacAilpein (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Capen family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Sir John MacAlpin; John MacAlpine (Latin: Maccabeus) (died 1557), a Scottish Protestant theologian; and Joseph Capen (1658-1725), a Massachusetts clergyman who during...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Capen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Capen family to Ireland

Some of the Capen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Capen migration to the United States +

Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Capen family emigrate to North America:

Capen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Capen, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1634 [2]
  • Bernard Capen, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1636 [2]
  • Barnard Capen, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1671 [2]
  • Samuel Capen, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1671 [2]
Capen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Capen, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Capen (post 1700) +

  • Nathum Capen (1804-1886), American co-founder of Marsh, Capen & Lyon, perhaps best known for publishing the first edition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830
  • Fannie Bishop Capen (b. 1852), American matron in an orphans home who married Revd Justus Henry Nelson in 1880 and joined him as a missionary in South America
  • Samuel P. Capen (1878-1956), American educational administrator, the first salaried, full-time chancellor at the University at Buffalo (1922-1950), co-founder of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, son of Elmer Hewitt Capen
  • Charles Laban Capen (1845-1927), American prominent Illinois lawyer, President of the Illinois State Bar Association (1903-1904)
  • Elmer Hewitt Capen (1838-1905), American academic, the 3rd President of Tufts College (now Tufts University) (1875-1905)
  • Stephen Harold Capen (1946-2005), American Radio announcer and disc jockey

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook