Champerlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Champerlan is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Champerlan is a name for a person who worked as a chamberlain. A chamberlain was one who was in charge of the private chambers of a noble, and later was a high ranking title having derived from the Anglo-Norman French word, chamberlanc. [1]

"Chamberlain occurs most commonly in Leicestershire and Rutlandshire." [2] "There are several distinct families bearing the surname. Aiulfus Camerarius (the latinized form) was a tenant in chief in co. Dorset, and probably the Conqueror's own chamberlain. One of his possessions in that county is still called Hampreston-Chamberlaine. [3]

The Chamberlaynes of Maugersbury claim from John, count of Tancarville, whose descendants were hereditary chamberlains to kings Henry I., Stephen, and Henry II. The office of the camerarius was to take charge of the king's camera or treasury, and answered to the treasurer of the household at present. Besides Aiulfus above mentioned, at least five other tenants in capite so designated occur in Domesday. " [4]

Early Origins of the Champerlan family

The surname Champerlan was first found in Oxfordshire where they claim descent from John, Count de Tankerville, of Tankerville Castle in Normandy who accompanied Duke William on his Conquest of England only to return after the battle of Hastings to his hereditary estates. He left a son in England who became chamberlain to Henry I., and whose son, Richard assumed the surname of Chamberlain from his office. [5]

"The office of royal chamberlain was one of great responsibility in virtue of the fact that until the reign of James I he managed the king's revenue and was head of the Exchequer. The great nobles, also, had each a chamberlain who looked after his lord's business affairs. John Camerarius witnessed a confirmation charter by William the Lion, c. 1175. Walter Camerarius witnessed a charter by Es China, wife of Walter Fitz Alan, before 1177" [1]

The principal line of the descendants were the Chamberlaynes of Sherborne in Oxfordshire. The hamlet of Stoney Thorpe in Warwickshire was home to a branch of the family. "The family of Chamberlayne, formerly of Princethorpe, in the county, has been seated here for many centuries; Henry Thomas Chamberlayne, Esq., is the present owner." [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved the wide usage of the surname with variopus spellings throughout ancient Britain: Walter le Chamberlayn, Lincolnshire; Martin le Chaumberleyn, Cambridgeshire; Ivo le Chaumberleyn, Warwickshire; and Henry le Chamberlein, Buckinghamshire. [7]

Early History of the Champerlan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Champerlan research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1616, 1703, 1619, 1689, 1560, 1631, 1572, 1626, 1540, 1596, 1576, 1813, 1632, 1715, 1632, 1720, 1667, 1691, 1690, 1625, 1643, 1643, 1635 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Champerlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Champerlan Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Champerlan family name include Chamberlain, Chamberlayne, Chamberlaine, Chamblayn, Chamberlin, Camberlain, Camberlan, Camblayn and many more.

Early Notables of the Champerlan family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Chamberlayne (1616-1703), an English writer, best known as the author of The Present State of England; William Chamberlayne (1619-1689), an English poet and physician. Pierre (Peter) Chamberlen the Elder (1560-1631), and Peter the Younger (1572-1626), two brothers and sons of Guillaume (William) Chamberlen (c.1540-1596), a Huguenot surgeon who fled from Paris to England in 1576, famous for inventing the modern use of obstetrical forceps, a family secret kept for two centuries - the original forceps were found in 1813 under a trap door in Woodham Mortimer Hall. Nicholas Chamberlaine (1632-1715), was an English priest...
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Champerlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Champerlan family to Ireland

Some of the Champerlan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Champerlan family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Champerlan family to immigrate North America: Edward Chamberlain who settled in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1655; Henry Chamberlain settled in Hingham, in 1638; John Chamberlain settled in Charlestown, 1653.



The Champerlan Motto +

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: Prodesse quam conspici
Motto Translation: To do good rather than be conspicuous.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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