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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Chance family come from? What is the English Chance family crest and coat of arms? When did the Chance family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Chance family history?

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.

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chance research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1592, 1672, 1654, 1632, 1712, 1632 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Chance History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 99 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chance Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • William Chance, who landed in Maryland in 1668

Chance Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Chance arrived in New York in 1710
  • Thos Chance, who arrived in Virginia in 1715
  • Will Chance 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, landed in Wilmington, Del in 1856

Chance Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Chance arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839
  • Louisa Ann Chance arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839
  • William Chance, aged 30, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Mary Green"

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  • John Barnes Chance (1932-1972), American composer
  • Britton Chance (b. 1913), American biophysicist
  • Frank Leroy Chance (1876-1924), American Major League Baseball player
  • Greyson Michael Chance (b. 1997), American pop rock singer and pianist
  • James Chance (b. 1953), born James Siegfried, American saxophonist, keyboard player, songwriter and singer
  • Wilmer Dean Chance (b. 1941), former American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Mr. William George Chance (d. 1914), British Staff Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914


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  • Chance Family, England to America, 1668 to 1972, in Forty Eight States by Hilda Nancy Ersula Snowberger Chance.
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  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Chance Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chance 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 27 March 2015 at 14:15.

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