Chapman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Chapman can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a name for a merchant. Chapman is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. The surname Chapman is derived from the Old English word ceapman, which means merchant. [1] Therefore, this surname would have been taken by someone whose primary occupation was that of a merchant. The earliest record of someone bearing the surname Chapman in England was in Cambridgeshire, prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early Origins of the Chapman family

The surname Chapman was first found in Cambridgeshire, but early rolls proved the widespread use of the name, By example, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Thomas le Chapman in Leicestershire and Grante le Chapman in Devon; the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had entries for the surname and as a trade, Alicia Shepshank, chapman; Agnes Chapman; Magota de Brandon, chapman; and Henricus Schapman. [2]

"From Kent to the North Riding the descendants of the ancient travelling merchants, or "cheap - men" (Anglo - Saxon Ce'apman) occur in singularly constant numbers. Their preference for the coast counties would seem to show that their travels were sometimes on the seas; yet it would also appear that the attractions of the great metropolis brought them together in numbers in the south - eastern counties. Kent stands foremost as their present abode. " [3]

To the north in Scotland, the earliest "ocurrence of the name seems to be in 1296 when a pardon was granted to a man for causing the death of Ralph Chepman in Dundee." [4] A few years later, William Chapman was provost of Aberdeen in 1327 and is probably the Willelmus dictus Chapman who appears on an inquisition in the same town in 1333. Hugh called Chepman held a land in fee in the town of Roxburgh in 1338 and King David II granted a charter of the lands of Rotherstoun near Dee to Duncan Chapman. [4]

Walter Chepman (1473?-1538?), was a Scottish printer, burgess and merchant in Edinburgh. "The years of Chepman's birth and death are not precisely known, probably 1473-1538. His name, frequently misspelt Chapman, was by himself always written and printed Chepman. He first appears in 1494, when a payment of 20l. was made to him and Stobo by the treasurer for their services as clerks in the office of the king's secretary." [5]

Early History of the Chapman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chapman research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1359, 1367, 1359, 1387, 1396, 1507, 1559, 1634, 1616, 1780, 1853, 1621 and are included under the topic Early Chapman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chapman Spelling Variations

Chapman has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Chapman have been found, including Chapman, Chappman, Chepman, Cheppman and others.

Early Notables of the Chapman family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir John Chapman of Westhampnett, Sussex. George Chapman (1559-1634) was an English poet, scholar, playwright, and translator. He was best remembered for...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chapman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Chapman family to Ireland

Some of the Chapman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Chapman migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Chapmans to arrive on North American shores:

Chapman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Chapman, who arrived in Virginia in 1608 [6]
  • Ann Chapman, who landed in Virginia in 1619 [6]
  • Nicholas Chapman, who arrived in Virginia in 1619 [6]
  • Phillip Chapman, who landed in Virginia in 1621 [6]
  • Francis Chapman, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Chapman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Chapman, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [6]
  • Anne Chapman, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [6]
  • Charles, Chapman Jr., who landed in Virginia in 1702 [6]
  • Benja Chapman, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [6]
  • Thomas Chapman, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Chapman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William T Chapman, aged 24, who landed in Connecticut in 1812 [6]
  • Jonathan Chapman, aged 23, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [6]
  • Philip Chapman, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [6]
  • Joseph Chapman, who arrived in America in 1823 [6]
  • Geo Chapman, aged 7, who arrived in America in 1829 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Chapman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chapman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jason Chapman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Gideon Chapman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Win Chapman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Stephen Chapman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1761
  • William Chapman, aged 44, who landed in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1774
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Chapman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas C Chapman, who landed in Canada in 1831

Australia Chapman migration to Australia +

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

Chapman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Chapman, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • William Chapman, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Mustell Chapman, English convict from Cambridge, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Charles Chapman, a cooper, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Stephen Chapman, a mason, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Chapman migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Chapman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alexander Chapman, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1833 [10]
  • Henry Chapman, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • Mr. Chapman, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl Durham" arriving in New Zealand in 1837 [10]
  • Mrs. Chapman, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl Durham" arriving in New Zealand in 1837 [10]
  • R Chapman, who landed in Hokianga, New Zealand in 1838
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Chapman (post 1700) +

  • Alice Elizabeth Chapman (1967-2019), née Smith, an American bounty hunter and reality star, wife of Duane "Dog" Chapman
  • David Chapman (1975-2017), American number one ranked player in the sport of American handball
  • Major-General Elbridge Gerry Jr. Chapman (1895-1954), American Commandant of the Parachute School (1946) [11]
  • Mark David Chapman (b. 1955), American convicted murderer of John Lennon
  • George Chapman (1559-1634), English dramatist
  • Paul William "Tonka" Chapman (1954-2020), Welsh rock guitarist best known for his work in bands such as UFO and Lone Star
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Louise Chapman O.B.E., British recipient of Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to British foreign policy [12]
  • Samuel Edward Campbell "Sammy" Chapman (1938-2019), Northern Ireland international footballer and football manager
  • Christopher Chapman CM, RCA (1927-2015), Canadian writer, director, editor and cinematographer, creator of the multi-dynamic image technique, best known for his award-winning 1967 short film A Place to Stand
  • Ernest William Chapman OAM (1926-2013), Australian bronze medalist rower at the 1952 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Ms Johanna Chapman, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mr. Harry  Chapman, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mr. William  Chapman (1898-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. William Roy Chapman (1920-1941), Australian Stoker from Willoughby, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Neville Owen Chapman (1922-1941), Australian Ordinary Seaman from Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [14]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. James A Chapman (b. 1900), English Commissioned Gunner serving for the Royal Navy from Alverstoke, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Albert Leonard Chapman, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [16]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Charles Edwin Chapman, British Air Mechanician 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [17]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Ellen Elizabeth Chapman, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [18]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Joseph Charles Chapman, aged 32, English Boots from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 9 [19]
  • Mr. Charles Henry Chapman (d. 1912), aged 52, American Second Class passenger from Bronx, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [19]
  • Mr. John Henry Chapman (d. 1912), aged 36, English Second Class passenger from Liskeard, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [19]
  • Mrs. Sara Elizabeth Chapman (d. 1912), (née Lawry), aged 28, English Second Class passenger from Liskeard, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [19]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Noel B. Chapman, American Seaman Second Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Naaman N. Chapman, American Seaman First Class from Nebraska, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [20]


The Chapman 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: Crescit sub pondere virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue thrives under oppression.


Suggested Readings for the name Chapman +

  • 202 "Chapman and Allied Families" by Lena E. Sweet, "Chapman and Pugh Family History and Allied Lines" by Minnie May Pugh.

  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Elbridge Chapman. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Chapman/Elbridge_Gerry_Jr./USA.html
  12. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  13. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  14. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  15. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  16. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  17. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  18. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  19. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  20. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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