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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

The Anglo-Saxon name Chapin comes from when its first bearer worked as a chaplain, the minister of a sanctuary or church. The name is derived from the Latin word capellanus

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Chapin include Chaplin, Chaplins, Chapline, Chaplyn, Cheplain, Chaplain, Chaiplin, Caplin, Caplines, Keplaine and many more.

First found in Hampshire where the oldest record of the name was Albert Chapelain, who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a tenant in chief and the king's chaplain. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chapin research. Another 391 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1559, 1634, 1677, 1696, 1591, 1672, 1659, 1660, 1598 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Chapin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 109 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chapin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Chapin or a variant listed above:

Chapin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Samuel Chapin, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Josiah Chapin, who landed in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1659
  • Henry Chapin, who landed in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1689

Chapin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • J S Chapin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • E N Chapin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Chapin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J N Chapin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Chapin, aged 56, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1892


Chapin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Augusta Chapin, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Belle Chapin, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Annette M. Chapin, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Arthur Chapin, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Arthur B. Chapin, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1909


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  • Frederic Lincoln Chapin (1929-1989), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, 1978-80; Guatemala, 1981-84
  • John R. Chapin, American artist and illustrator
  • Mary W. Chapin (1820-1899), American educator and college president
  • Miles Chapin (b. 1954), American actor
  • Samuel Chapin (1598-1675), American founder of Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Tom Chapin (b. 1945), American musician
  • Frederick H. Chapin (1852-1900), American businessman, mountaineer, photographer, amateur geologist
  • Harry Chapin (1942-1981), American musician, best known for his songs "Taxi" and "Cats in the Cradle", posthumous recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Henry Chapin (1811-1878), American politician, three-term mayor of Worcester Massachusetts
  • Dr James Paul Chapin (1889-1964), American scientist and ornithologist

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  • A Genealogy of Henry Judson Chapin: His Ancestors, His Descendants by Gretchen E. Engel.
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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Chapin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chapin 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 10 February 2016 at 15:58.

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