Show ContentsChafin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Chafin is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name. It was a name given to a person who was a bald man. The surname Chafin is a diminutive derived from the Old French words chauf and cauf, which both mean bald. This is ultimately derived from the Latin word calvus, which has the same meaning. The words chauf and cauf are supplemented by the suffixes in or on, which have several variations and are two of the most common diminutive suffixes.

Early Origins of the Chafin family

The surname Chafin was first found in Dorset where branches of the family were found in Chettle and Folke. Chettle dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Ceotel and probably was derived from the Old English word ceotel, meaning "deep valley." Folke dates back to 1244 where it was derived from the Old English word folc, which meant people, as in "land held by the people." [1]

Early History of the Chafin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chafin research. Another 56 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1627, 1628, 1714, 1600, 1666, 1600, 1641, 1602, 1688 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Chafin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chafin Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Chafin has appeared include Chaffin, Chaffinch, Caffin and others.

Early Notables of the Chafin family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Chaffin, High Sheriff of Dorset in 1627; and Matthew Caffyn (1628-1714), an English General Baptist preacher and writer from Horsham, Sussex. "He was the seventh son of Thomas Caffin, by Elizabeth his wife. In Lower's 'Worthies of Sussex' it is erroneously said that 'his father was a German;' the family existed in the neighbourhood at an early date." [2] Thomas Chiffinch (1600-1666), was Keeper of...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chafin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chafin Ranking

In the United States, the name Chafin is the 5,506th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

United States Chafin migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Chafin arrived in North America very early:

Chafin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alex C Chafin, aged 50, who immigrated to America, in 1908
  • Esther M. Chafin, aged 49, who landed in America, in 1920
  • Wilbur R. Chafin, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name Chafin (post 1700) +

  • Augustus Benton "Ben" Chafin Jr. (1960-2021), American lawyer, farmer, and politician, member of the Republican Party, he died from COVID-19
  • Harry Truman Chafin (b. 1945), American politician, Democratic member of the West Virginia Senate
  • Don Chafin (1887-1954), American sheriff of Logan County, West Virginia and commander in the Battle of Blair Mountain
  • Cleve Chafin (1885-1959), American carnival musician who recorded old-time music during the 1920s
  • Eugene Wilder Chafin (1852-1920), United States politician from the Prohibition Party

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?"., on Facebook