Chancellor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scotland's western coastal mountains and the desolate Hebrides spawned the line of the Chancellor family. The name Chancellor was originally a nickname for a person who performed the duties of a Chancellor, or behaved in an authoritative manner. This surname is a nickname, which derives from the Anglo-Norman-French word c(h)ancelier, which was the name of an administrative position. Typically, this surname was given to someone who held this position.

Early Origins of the Chancellor family

The surname Chancellor was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. There is early record of a composer Philippe Le Chancelier (c.1165-1236).

"From the office of 'chancellor,' either civil or ecclesiastical; an official who kept registers of an order of knighthood, an ecclesiastical judge. An ancient family of this name in Lanarkshire were vassals of the lords of Somerville before 1432. " [1]

Further to the south, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed many spellings throughout ancient Britain: Robert le Chaunceler, Cambridgeshire; Alan Chanceler, Norfolk; Walter Chaunceler, Norfolk; Robert le Caunceler, Bedfordshire; Roger le Canceler, Bedfordshire; and William Cancellarius, Oxfordshire. [2]

Early History of the Chancellor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chancellor research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1432, 1681, 1684, 1556, 1553, 1564 and 1554 are included under the topic Early Chancellor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chancellor Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Chancellor has been spelled Chancellor, Chansellor, Chanceller, Chancellour and many more.

Early Notables of the Chancellor family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Chancellor (d. 1556), an English navigator; the first to navigate to the White Sea and establish relations with Russia. He was a pupil of the explorer Sebastian Cabot and the geographer John Dee. "He was in 1553 chosen to be captain of the Edward Bonaventure, and 'pilot-general' of the expedition which was fitted out under the command of Sir Hugh Willoughby [q. v.] in the Bona Esperanza, 'for the search and discovery of the northern part of the world,' and especially to look for a north-east...
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chancellor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Chancellor migration to the United States +

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Chancellor were among those contributors:

Chancellor Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Philip Chancellor, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [3]
  • Abigail Chancellor, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [3]
  • Mary Chancellor, who arrived in Maryland in 1679 [3]
  • Captain Richard Chancellor from Lanarkshire, who settled in Westmoreland county Virginia in 1682
Chancellor Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Chancellor, who arrived in Antigua (Antego) in 1752 [3]
Chancellor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann, James, Jane, John, Joseph, Robert, Thomas, and William Chancellor, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820
  • Thomas S Chancellor, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]

Australia Chancellor migration to Australia +

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

Chancellor Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Chancellor, aged 22, a quarryman, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "Escort"

Contemporary Notables of the name Chancellor (post 1700) +

  • William N. Chancellor, American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates, 1877-78, 1887-88 (1st District 1877-78, Wood County 1887-88) [4]
  • Sullivan D. Chancellor (b. 1855), American Democrat politician, Sawmill owner; Candidate for Ohio State House of Representatives from Clinton County, 1897 [4]
  • Henry C. Chancellor Jr., American Democrat politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Barton County, 1907-08, 1917-20, 1931-32; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1912 [4]
  • Claude Chancellor, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from McDonald County, 1936 [4]
  • Kameron Darnel "Kam" Chancellor (b. 1988), American NFL football strong safety for the Seattle Seahawks
  • John Chancellor (1927-1996), American Primetime Emmy Award winning television newscaster, anchor of the NBC Nightly News from 1970 to 1982
  • Alexander Surtees Chancellor CBE (1940-2017), British journalist, Editor of The Spectator (1975-1984), Deputy Editor of the Sunday Telegraph in 1986, father of British model Cecilia Chancellor
  • Henry George Chancellor (1863-1945), British politician, Member of Parliament for Haggerston (1910-1918)
  • Cecilia Chancellor (b. 1966), British model, known for her work with Vogue
  • Anna Chancellor (b. 1965), English actress
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Chancellor 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: Que je surmonte
Motto Translation: May I excel.


  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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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