Chance History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Chance was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chance family lived in Essex. They were originally from Chansay, Normandy, and it is to their tenure of residence in this area that their name refers.

Early Origins of the Chance family

The surname Chance was first found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Chance family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chance research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1581, 1592, 1672, 1654, 1632, 1712, 1632, 1719 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Chance History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chance Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chance, Chancey, Chaunceur, Channsy, Channsey, Chauncey, Chancy and many more.

Early Notables of the Chance family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Maurice Chauncy (d. 1581), Carthusian monk, whose surname is found under the forms of Chamney, Chawney, Chancy, Channy, Chenye, Chasee, and Chawsey, was the eldest son of John Chauncy, esq., of Ardele, Hertfordshire. [1] and Charles Chauncy (1592-1672), was an English-born, American clergyman and educator from Yardleybury (Ardeley), Hertfordshire who became President of Harvard College in...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chance Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Chance migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chance or a variant listed above:

Chance Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Chance, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [2]
  • William Chance, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [2]
Chance Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Chance, who arrived in New York in 1710
  • Thomas Chance, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [2]
  • Will Chance, who settled in Georgia in 1735
  • Jane Chance who settled in Grenada in 1774
Chance Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Chance, aged 28, who landed in Wilmington, Del in 1856 [2]

Australia Chance migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Chance Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Chance, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [3]
  • Louisa Ann Chance, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [3]
  • William Chance, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Mary Green" [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Chance (post 1700) +

  • Greyson Michael Chance, American pop rock singer and pianist
  • Simon W. Chance, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 4th District, 1959-60 [5]
  • Peter Chance, American politician, Mayor of Canton, Ohio, 1855-59 [5]
  • N. W. Chance, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1888 [5]
  • Merritt O. Chance, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Washington, District of Columbia, 1915-23 [5]
  • Joseph Bell Chance, American politician, Delegate to Texas Convention of 1833 from District of Washington, 1833 [5]
  • Homer Lee Chance, American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Twiggs County, 1943-48 [5]
  • Genie Chance, American Democrat politician, Member of Alaska State House of Representatives 7th District, 1973-74 [5]
  • Frank Chance, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Ohio 8th District, 1880 [5]
  • Wilmer Dean Chance (1941-2015), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1961 to 1971
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William George Chance, British Staff Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [6]

Suggested Readings for the name Chance +

  • 1492 "Chance Family, England to America, 1668 to 1972, in Forty Eight States" by Hilda Nancy Ersula Snowberger Chance.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) KATHERINE STEWART FORBES 1837 arrived Holdfast Bay, near Adelaide, on October 17, 1837. . Retrieved from
  4. ^ South Australian Register Monday 20 June 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARY GREEN 1853. Retrieved
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 22) . Retrieved from
  6. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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