Show ContentsChampin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Champin was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a professional champion. In the Middle Ages a common manner of settling disputes was through trial by combat. Thus, proficient fighters would sell their services to represent parties involved in such cases by fighting on their behalf. The word derives from the Anglo Norman French word, campion, of the same meaning. [1]

We found this interesting passage that explores the "champion" aspect in more detail: "In the ordeal by battle, in criminal cases, the accuser and the accused took the field themselves, but in disputes about the ownership of land, the actual parties to the suit were represented by 'champions', in theory their free tenants, but in practice, hired men, professional champions, and very well paid. In 1294 the Dean and Chapter of Southwell incurred a prospective liability of about £750 in modern money in hiring a champion to fight a duel to settle a law-suit about the advowson of a church. A pugil or champion was a regular member of the household of more than one medieval bishop, Thomas Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford (1275-1282), paying his champion, Thomas de Bruges, a salary of half a mark a year." [2]

Early Origins of the Champin family

The surname Champin was first found in Hampshire where Herbert Campion was listed at Winton in 1148. A few years later, Geoffrey Champiun was found in Northumberland 1154-1169 and later again, Roger le Campion was found in the Pipe Rolls for Oxfordshire in 1197. In Suffolk, William le Champion was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1220. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include Beatrix le Campiun, Cambridgeshire; John Campiown, Huntingdonshire; and Walter le Campion, Buckinghamshire were listed as holding lands at that time. A few years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Simon Campion and Ricardus Campion. [3]

Further to the north in Scotland, Nicholas Champion of Berwick rendered homage to King Edward I in 1291, and again as Nicol Campyon of Berwickshire in 1296. [4]

Early History of the Champin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Champin research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1296, 1291, 1540, 1581, 1599, 1665, 1624, 1640, 1619, 1640, 1702, 1689, 1698, 1701, 1701, 1702, 1569, 1578, 1590, 1608 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Champin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Champin Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Champin include Campion, Champion and others.

Early Notables of the Champin family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edmund Campion (1540-1581), English Jesuit, son of a citizen and bookseller of London. During his illustrious career, he mingled with royalty many times but is most famous for his book The History of Ireland." [5] William Campion alias Wigmore (1599-1665), was another Jesuit, "a native of Herefordshire, entered the Society of Jesus at Watten, near St. Omer, in 1624, and became a professed father in 1640. " [5] Thomas Campion (d. 1619), was an early "physician, poet, and musician, was probably...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Champin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Champin family to Ireland

Some of the Champin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Champin migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Champins to arrive on North American shores:

Champin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Pasta Champin, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [6]
  • Edward Champin, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • William Champin, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [6]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. 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)
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. 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