Show ContentsChancé History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Chancé was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chancé family lived in Cauncy, near Amiens, in northern France. The Sieur de Cauncy came from here. "His descendant Sir Henry Chauncy gained distinction as the historian of Hertfordshire. Many of the name and family are settled in that county." [1]

"It is quite possible that Chance may have been a personal name, like Bonaventure, which it exactly represented; chance in Middle English generally meaning a happy accident, a good mishap. " [2]

Early Origins of the Chancé family

The surname Chancé was first found in Essex where Robert and Ralph Chance were listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1209 and later in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1310. Simon de Chanci was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1218 and later, Roger de Chauncy was found in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1230. Also in Yorkshire, we found John Chancy listed there 1293-1294. Later, Roger Chansi was listed in Gloucestershire in 1361. [3]

Early History of the Chancé family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chancé research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1581, 1592, 1672, 1654, 1632, 1712, 1632, 1719 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Chancé History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chancé Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chance, Chancey, Chaunceur, Channsy, Channsey, Chauncey, Chancy and many more.

Early Notables of the Chancé family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Maurice Chauncy (d. 1581), Carthusian monk, whose surname is found under the forms of Chamney, Chawney, Chancy, Channy, Chenye, Chasee, and Chawsey, was the eldest son of John Chauncy, esq., of Ardele, Hertfordshire. [4] and Charles Chauncy (1592-1672), was an English-born, American clergyman and educator from Yardleybury (Ardeley), Hertfordshire who became President of Harvard College in...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chancé Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chancé Ranking

In the United States, the name Chancé is the 2,290th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [5]

United States Chancé migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chancé or a variant listed above:

Chancé Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Chance, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [6]
  • William Chance, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [6]
Chancé Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Chance, who arrived in New York in 1710
  • Thomas Chance, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [6]
  • Will Chance, who settled in Georgia in 1735
  • Jane Chance who settled in Grenada in 1774
Chancé Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Chance, aged 28, who landed in Wilmington, Del in 1856 [6]
Chancé Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Harold Chance, (b. 1883), aged 20, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 11th July 1903 en route to Foresthill, California, USA [7]

Australia Chancé migration to Australia +

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

Chancé Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Chance, British Convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 5th July 1820, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • William Chance, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [9]
  • Louisa Ann Chance, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [9]
  • Mr. Patrick Chance, (b. 1813), aged 30, Irish shoe maker who was convicted in Wicklow, Ireland for 7 years for receiving stolen goods, transported aboard the "Constant" on 9th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • William Chance, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Mary Green" [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Chancé (post 1700) +

  • Larry Chance (1940-2023), American musician and the lead singer of the popular 1960s doo-wop group Larry Chance and the Earls
  • Greyson Michael Chance, American pop rock singer and pianist
  • Simon W. Chance, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 4th District, 1959-60 [12]
  • Peter Chance, American politician, Mayor of Canton, Ohio, 1855-59 [12]
  • N. W. Chance, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1888 [12]
  • Merritt O. Chance, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Washington, District of Columbia, 1915-23 [12]
  • Joseph Bell Chance, American politician, Delegate to Texas Convention of 1833 from District of Washington, 1833 [12]
  • Homer Lee Chance, American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Twiggs County, 1943-48 [12]
  • Genie Chance, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Alaska State House of Representatives 7th District, 1973-74 [12]
  • Frank Chance, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Ohio 8th District, 1880 [12]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William George Chance (d. 1914), British Staff Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [13]

Suggested Readings for the name Chancé +

  • Chance Family, England to America, 1668 to 1972, in Forty Eight States by Hilda Nancy Ersula Snowberger Chance.

  1. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, 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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) KATHERINE STEWART FORBES 1837 arrived Holdfast Bay, near Adelaide, on October 17, 1837. . Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2021). Retrieved from
  11. South Australian Register Monday 20 June 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARY GREEN 1853. Retrieved
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 22) . Retrieved from
  13. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook