Show ContentsChappell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Chappell comes from the family having resided near the chapel, The surname Chappell is a topographic surname, which is a type of surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. In this case the Chappell family were dwellers by the churchyard. [1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Chappell family

The surname Chappell was first found in various counties and shires throughout Britain. The earliest record of the family appears to be John Chapel who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1202. [4] Later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Hugh de la Chapele in Nottinghamshire. [1]

During the reign of Edward I., Thomas de la Chapele was listed in Northumberland and John atte Chapele was listed in Somerset. [5] William a la Chapele was listed in the Feet of Fines Rolls about the same time. Richard de la Chapele was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [4] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes del Chapell. [1]

Further to the north in Scotland, the name has the same origin, but early records there show the name as more of an occupational name from "the office of usher of the king's chapel, that is, Chancery, was hereditary in a family called from the office de Capella, and was attached to a third part of the lands of Craigmillar. In 1328 there is entry of wages of the boys of William de Capella. John de Capella possessed Craigmillar after the Craigmillars, and in 1374 the lands were purchased from them again by Sir Simon Preston. Little is known of this John de Capella. " [6]

Early History of the Chappell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chappell research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1374, 1569, 1579, 1582, 1588, 1649, 1677, 1728, 1729, 1737, 1745, 1746, 1775, 1795, 1812, 1826, 1830, 1834, 1838, 1840 and 1855 are included under the topic Early Chappell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chappell Spelling Variations

Chappell 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. Spelling variants included: Chapel, Chappell, Chappel, Chappelle, Chapele, Chapell, Chapple and many more.

Early Notables of the Chappell family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • William Chappell (1582-1649), English divine, Bishop of Cork, the son of Robert Chappell, and born at Laxton, Nottinghamshire, on 10 Dec. 1582. [7]

Chappell World Ranking

In the United States, the name Chappell is the 1,233rd most popular surname with an estimated 24,870 people with that name. [8] However, in New Zealand, the name Chappell is ranked the 967th most popular surname with an estimated 773 people with that name. [9] And in the United Kingdom, the name Chappell is the 792nd popular surname with an estimated 8,543 people with that name. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Chappell family to Ireland

Some of the Chappell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Chappell 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 Chappells to arrive on North American shores:

Chappell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Chappell, aged 20, who arrived in New England aboard the ship "The Christian" in 1634 [11]
  • Jo Chappell, aged 38 or 28, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Assurance" [11]
  • Joseph Chappell, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Mr. Thomas Chappell, aged 33, from England who arrived in Virginia aboard the ship "America" arriving in June 1635 [12]
  • John Chappell, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Chappell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francis Chappell, who landed in Virginia in 1716 [11]
  • Erhart Chappell, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [11]
Chappell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Chappell, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1812 [11]
  • James Chappell, who landed in New York in 1851 [11]
  • Bennett Chappell, who landed in Virginia in 1884 [11]
Chappell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Laura Chappell, (b. 1878), aged 27, American citizen travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Michigan, USA [13]
  • Mr. William Chappell, (b. 1878), aged 27, English miner travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Houghton, Michigan, USA [13]

Canada Chappell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chappell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Nathanal Chappell U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 402 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York [14]

Australia Chappell migration to Australia +

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

Chappell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Chappell, English convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. Matthew Chappell, British Convict who was convicted in West Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [16]
  • Mr. William Chappell, Jr., English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Bardaster" on 7th September 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [17]
  • Mr. William Chappell, English convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 27th July 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Mr. William Chappell, (b. 1811), aged 27, Cornish settler convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, UK on 12th July 1837, sentenced for 7 years for obtaining a gun under false pretences, transported aboard the ship "Earl Grey" on 8th August 1838 to New South Wales, Australia [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Chappell 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:

Chappell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Chappell, (b. 1838), aged 35, Cornish miner departing on 31st July 1873 aboard the ship "Lady Jocelyn" going to Bluff or Otago, New Zealand arriving in port on 6th November 1873 [20]
  • James Chappell, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mrs. Charlotte Chappell, (b. 1845), aged 28, Cornish settler departing on 31st July 1873 aboard the ship "Lady Jocelyn" going to Bluff or Otago, New Zealand arriving in port on 6th November 1873 [20]
  • Mr. Joseph Chappell, British settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [21]
  • Henry Chappell, aged 40, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Chappell (post 1700) +

  • Fred Davis Chappell (1936-2024), American author and poet, English professor for 40 years (1964–2004) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002
  • Katherine "Kate" Chappell (1985-2015), American film visual effects editor, known for her work on Divergent (2014), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011); she died after being attacked by a lioness in Johannesburg
  • Brigadier-General Julian Merritt Chappell (1909-1993), American Commander of the Air Reserve Records Center (1959-1961) [22]
  • Joe Chappell, American Flight Engineer for Air Force One from 1961 to 1980
  • Ernest Chappell (1903-1983), American broadcaster
  • Crystal Chappell (b. 1965), American soap opera star
  • Charles C. Chappell, American Republican politician, Mayor of Middletown, New York, 1936-37 [23]
  • Charles A. Chappell, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Nebraska 1st District, 1944 [23]
  • Carol S. Chappell, American politician, Delegate to Connecticut convention to ratify 21st amendment at-large, 1933 [23]
  • Allen Alexander Chappell (b. 1889), American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Sumter County, 1933-34, 1937-40; Member of Georgia State Senate, 1935 [23]
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Robert E Chappell (b. 1902), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Chichester, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [24]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Benjamin Chappell, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [25]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William George Chappell (1905-1939), British Petty Officer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [26]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. William R. Chappell, American Seaman First 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 [27]


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  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. 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)
  7. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  9. "Most Common Last Names in New Zealand." Forebears, https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  10. "UK surname ranking." UK Surname map, https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  11. 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)
  12. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved January 6th 2023 from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm
  13. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  14. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  15. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  16. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  17. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bardaster
  18. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-grey
  19. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  20. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  21. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  22. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Julian Chappell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Chappell/Julian_Merritt/USA.html
  23. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  24. 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
  25. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  26. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  27. 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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