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


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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The surname Chapin was 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]

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.


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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. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. 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).
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  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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