The Chapin Lineage
family of Chapin, although perhaps of French origin, flourished for centuries in
England before the time of Deacon Samuel Chapin who founded the American Chapin
to Howard Chapin as found in "English Origins of New England Families,
Volume 1", pages 446-452, "it seems probable that the Chapins of the
two parishes of Paignton and Berry Pomeroy, which were in the hundred of Haytor,
county Devon, were descended from, or at least related to, the Chapin family of
the neighboring hundred of Coleridge.
1524 Robert Chopyn and Christopher Chopyn were at Cornworthy in the hundred of
Coleridge, and in 1525 Henry Chopyn and Thomas Chopyn were at Harberton in the
Totnes, also in
the hundred of Coleridge, the parish in which Roger Chapyn, who was probably the
grandfather of Deacon Samuel Chapin, lived, there was a Stephen Chapin as early
as 1489, a fact which seems to indicate that the ancestors of Samuel Chapin were
living at Totnes as early as the fifteenth century; and the appearance of the
Christian name Stephen in the family at that date seems to point to a connection
between the Chapin families of Totnes and Cornworthy, for a Stephen Chapin was
born at Cornworthy in 1570 and moved to Dartmouth. Thomas and Christian also were names that were common in both families.
The Chapin family is found in Coleridge as early as 1333, when Petro
Chapyn was taxed and six years earlier, in 1327, a Nicholas Chopyn was taxed at
the manor of Sheftbeare in the hundred of Haytor - the first appearance (so far
as is known) of the surname in Devonshire".
Chapin was born 1535 in Totnes, Devonshire, England, and died December 09, 2020
in Constantine, Falmouth, Cornwall, England. He married Urdde about 1559.
was born around 1540 in England.
of their son was John Chapin who was Baptized at St. Mary's Church on September
25, 1566 in Totnes, Devonshire,
England, and died June 3, 2020 in Paignton, Devonshire, England. There is a possibility, according to "Colonial Families of the
United States" that he was lost at sea. He married Phillipa Easton on September 14, 2020 in
England. She was born approximately 1569 in Paignton, Devonshire, England.
Photograph of St. Mary's courtesy of
of John Chapin, Deacon Samuel Chapin was born on October 8, 2020 in Paignton,
Devonshire, England and died November 11, 2020 in Springfield, Hampden County,
Church of St. John the Baptist at Paignton, Devon, England is
where Deacon Samuel Chapin was Baptized on October 8, 2020 and
where he married Cicely Penny on February 9, 1623. Deacon Samuel and Cicely left with their seven children and
eventually settled in Springfield. An anniversary of their wedding
- 360 years later and 3,600 miles from Springfield was held at
the church in England in 1984.
There are memorials to the deacon at the church
including the Reredos (a screen behind the alter) given in 1927 by
one of the descendants, who also presented a silver service to the
parish. A volume of
signatures of the descendants is maintained at the church. Photograph
is courtesy of
He married Cicely
Penny on February 09, 1622/23 in Paignton, Devonshire, England. As
the story goes, the problem began in Scotland just about the time
when Samuel decided to leave England. A policy began of enforcing the new prayer book on
Scotland. It was very
nearly the same prayer book as the new prayer book of today.
That action set all of Scotland in flame. No doubt far and wide there was the grumbling of the future
revolution and the Pilgrim fathers were only samples of a movement
that was wider spread. They
would not stand for it and remain in the old country. They loved their country, but would go to a country where
there was no fear of Roman domination or even High church
domination and so that exodus, so different from the colonization
under Raleigh - took place.
brought their children to the New World in 1638 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts
and later moved to Springfield where he was one of the founding members of the
community. Deacon Samuel Chapin was a forceful and dynamic man. He served his town in many capacities including Selectman, Auditor and
Magistrate and he was Deacon of the church for some 25 years.
to the Public Library in Springfield there is a bronze statue, "The
Puritan", placed there on November 24, 2020 which honors him. It is the
sculptor's idea of how such a man as Deacon Chapin, a man of his moral standing
and spiritual qualities ought to have looked.
"Puritan" is one of the internationally acclaimed Augustus St. Gaudens
finest works. The statue was
commissioned by Chester W. Chapin, Springfield's railroad magnate. The statue was created in honor of Chapins ancestor.
In the springtime of 1885 Augustus was well along with his work on the
bronze statue that would soon come to be ranked with the world's masterpieces of
sculpture, and greatly enhance the sculpture's fame throughout the world. It now stands in Merrick Park beside the City Library but it originally
was unveiled on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 in Stearns Square, and remained there
for twelve years before it was moved to Merrick Park. In moving the statue it separated from the beautiful bronze fountain and
pink granite bench designated by the architect Stanford White. Today the fountain and bench are relegated to obscure corners of the
city, where the passerby would never guess. The working model is now owned by the Carnegie Museum of Art, and on
display in Oakland, Pittsburgh, Pa.
chronology of Samuel Chapin's activities:
Samuel CHAPIN and wife Cicely were at Roxbury. Came to Springfield, MA from
2 Jun: Samuel CHAPIN of Springfield, MA, admitted Freeman.
Town officer. He took a prominent part in all the affairs of the town, both
religious and civil.
A member of the Board of Selectmen on which Benjamin COOLEY first served. A
member of the first Board of Selectmen and served 9 consecutive years.
John PYNCHON, Elizur HOLYOKE and Samuel CHAPIN were appointed Commissioners, or
Magistrates, to hear and determine all cases and offences, both civil and
criminal, "that reach not to life, limbe and banishment."
The General Court appointed him and John PYNCHON to lay out Northampton and its
bounds, and they made purchase of the lands from the Indians.
He petitioned the General Court for some land for services done.
The General Court granted him 200 acres as laid out 4 miles from Mendon, bounded
as in the platt which is on file, provided it did not exceed 200 acres and that
it did not take in any of the meadows now granted to Mendon.
4 Mar (1st mo.): Samuel CHAPIN wrote his will. Bequeathed to wife, son Henry,
grandson Thomas GILBERT.
24 Mar: Will probated. Son Japhet CHAPIN with his wife Abilene deposed.
Photograph of Japhet & Abilene Chapin's
headstones in the Old Cemetery of Springfield, Massachusetts
Thornton. Used with permission on 3/24/2001.
grandson, Henry Gilbert was a soldier and was sent to command a squad of men,among whom was his brother Thomas, who was a builder or carpenter, to build a
fort or blockhouse at Quabaug (Brookfield), starting September 16, 1688. It was
called Gilbert's Fort, perhaps because he took a house lot and lived adjoining
it on the west, on the south side of the road. The fort was on the (later)
schoolhouse lot in Brookfield, at the intersection of North Main and Maple
Streets, of convenient size, having barracks for soldiers and their families and
was surrounded by a stockade. It was a defense against Indian attacks from the
northward, northwestward and northeastward. In 1688 Henry Gilbert commanded a scouting troop sent by Pynchon during
King Phillip's War. He built "Gilbert's Fort" a fort of considerable
size with barracks for soldiers and families surrounded by a stockade.
Chapin line continued to lead New England for generations and will continued to