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


Capley is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Capley family lived in Herefordshire. The name refers to the family's former residence in La Chapelle, Normandy.

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The surname Capley was first found in Herefordshire where another source claims that name was derived from "the ancestor of Lord Albemarle [who] was Arnord-Joost van Keppel, lord of Voerst, a descendant of one of the most ancient houses in Guerlderland, [Holland] who accompanied King WIlliam III to England in 1688, and was by him advanced to the title still enjoyed by the family. According to 'Folks of Shields,' the name is equivalent to De Capella." [1]

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Capley are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Capley include Capel, Capell, Caple, Cappel, Keppel and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Capley research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1515, 1496, 1503, 1511, 1515, 1585, 1658, 1586, 1656, 1608, 1649, 1631, 1683, 1608, 1649, 1638, 1696, 1697, 1743, 1739, 1743, 1722 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Capley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 343 words (24 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Capley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Capley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Capley, or a variant listed above: William Cappell who settled in Virginia in 1635; John Cappell settled in Virginia in 1656; Thomas Cappells settled in Virginia in 1720.

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  • Lieutenant Commander Joe H. Capley, U.S. Navy, pilot during Operation Deep Freeze 1965 and 1966, eponym of Mount Capley, Antarctica


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et fortitudine
Motto Translation: By fidelity and fortitude.

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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. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Capley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Capley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 November 2015 at 16:11.

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