Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Chapin Family - Colonial Americans

Catherine Chapin was the wife of Nathaniel Bliss and mother of Mary Bliss. She was born is Pomeroy, Devin, England in 1622. Catherine was the third of 10 or 11 children of Samuel Chapin (b.1598? d.1675) and Cicely Penny (b.1602, d.1682).

John Chapin

The Chapin family is believed to have come to America about 1638, landed at Boston and settled in Roxbury. Samuel Chapin was born in Paignton, Devon, England and was baptized on October 8, 1598 at Saint John the Baptist Church. He was the fourth of five children of John Chapin (b.1566? d.1600) and Phillipa Easton (b.1569? d.1615) both of Paignton. There other children were: Joane, Phillipe, Thomas and Margaret. Phillipa Easton was the daughter of Henry Easton and Joan Cliffe.

Saint John the Baptist Church, Paignton, Devon, England

John Chapin is believed to be the son of Roger Chapin (b.1534) and his wife, Joanna Urdde (b.1538, d.1590). The circumstances and date of John's death seem to be in doubt. A source indicated that he may have been on the voyage to America with his son Samuel; another source indicated that he may have died at sea. John and Phillipa's other children were: Margery (d.1569), Johan (bap.1560), Margett (bap.1570/1) and Luke (bap.1576, d.1590). It was noted that Luke died of the Plague.

Samuel Chapin

Samuel, married Cicely Penny about 1623. She was the daughter of Henry Penny (b.1571, d.1630) and Jane? (d.1637). Henry Penny was the son of William Penny (b.1542).

Samuel and Cicely had 10 children, eight of which traveled with them to the new world. It is unclear exactly what year they came over but Samuel was known to own land at Roxbury by 1639. About 1642 the family moved to Springfield where Samuel became a leading citizen and held many public offices including: Selectman, Auditor and Magistrate and Deacon of the church. He was noted as a Freeman in1644 (may have been a Freeman as early as 1641). The children of Samuel and Cicely:

  • David (b.1624/5, d.1672), married Lydia Crump 1654. There children were: Lydia; Caleb, who married Sarah (?); Sarah; Hannah; Ebenezer, who married Elizabeth Adams; and Sarah Gilbert; Johnathan, who married Elizabeth Burt; Union: and Ruth.
  • Catherine, married Nathaniel Bliss. Refer to the Bliss Family – Colonial Ancestors (link at the end off this post) for more information on Catherine and Nathaniel.
  • Sarah (bap.1628, d.1684), married Rowland Thomas (d.1698) in 1657. There children were: Joseph; Samuel; Mary; Joseph, who married Mary (?); Benjamin, who married Anna Belding; Josiah: Josiah: Samuel: Sarah, who married James Warringer; Mary; and Mercy, who married John Bagg.
  • Samuel (bap.1630/1, d.1634), died in England.
  • Henry (bap.1630/1, d.1718), married Bethia Cooley (b.1644, d.1711) in 1664 and settled in Chicopee Parish, Springfield. She was the daughter of Benjamin Cooley and Sarah (?). There children were: Henry: Mary, who married Benjamin Wright; Sarah: Bethiah: Henry who married Hannah Garnzey and Ester Bliss; and Benjamin, who married Hannah Colton.
  • John (bap.1632/3), died young in England.
  • Honor (bap.1636), probably died in England.
  • Josiah (bap.1637, d.1726), married Mary King (b.1639, d.1676) in 1658. She, was the daughter of John King. After her death, Josiah married Lydia Brown? (b.1658, d.1711) the widow of Thomas Pratt. After her death, he married Mehitabel Metcaff. Children of Josiah and Mary were: Samuel, who married Mary Hobart; John; Mary, who married Joseph Adams; Deborah, Joseph; Shem; Seth, who married Bethiah Thurston; Joseph; Henry; Ephraim, who married Margaret Torrey; and Deborah, who married Samuel Read. Children of Josiah and Lydia where: Lydia, who married Daniel Taft; Sarah, who married Ebenezer Read; David; and Hannah, who married John Holbrook.
  • Japhet (bap.1642, d.1711/2), married Abelehah Cooley (b.1643, d.1710) in 1664. She was the daughter of Samuel Abelehah. After her death, he married Dorothy Root. Japhet was selectman for Springfield eight times and was in the 1676 Turner Falls battle in King Philip's War. Children of Japhet and Abelehah where: Samuel, who married Hannah Sheldon; Sarah, who married Nathanial Munn; Thomas, who married Sarah Wright; John, who married Sarah Bridgman; Ebenezer, who married Ruth Janes; Hannah; Hannah, who married John Sheldon; David, who married Sarah Stebbins and then Mindwell Allen; Jonathan; Jonathan, who married Elizabeth Burt; and Daniel (?).
  • Hannah (b.1644), married John Hitchcock 1666. He was the son of Luke Hitchcock and Elizabeth Gibbons.
The First Meeting House in Springfield, 1645.

Samuel Chapin was an important member of early Springfield and his line of descendants include many influential US citizens but perhaps is greatest claim to fame is the fact that a prominent American sculptor used his name in a large bronze piece that still resides in Springfield. In 1881 Augustus Saint-Gaudens was commissioned by Chester W. Chapin, a railroad tycoon and congressman, to sculpt a large-scale bronze likeness of an ancestor, Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the three founders of Springfield. The sculptor wrote in his “Reminiscences” that “the statue . . . was to represent Deacon Samuel Chapin, but I developed it into an embodiment . . . of the Puritan.” On Thanksgiving Day, 1887, “The Puritan” was unveiled on Stearns Square in Springfield, at one end of a site designed by Architect Stamford White (Gauden’s great friend). The monument was relocated to Merrick Park in 1899. In “The Puritan” Saint-Gaudens successfully translated an abstract idea into three dimensional form. The figure is not an individual portrait, but a representation of Puritan Dogma. Eyes focused downward, he strides with a knotty pine walking stick across the pine-strewn New England wilderness, symbolized by a few scattered branches on the base.

“The Puritan” by the American Sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens
 at Merrick Park  in Springfield. The text reads: “1595, Anno Domini,
 1675, Deacon Samuel Chapin, One of the Founders of Springfield.”
Samuel, Cicely and a number of descendants were originally buried at Chicopee Cemetery (Chicopee Street Burying Ground) in Springfield (all graves later moved).

Direct descendants of Samuel Chapin include: John Brown, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, J.P. Morgan, Lillian Gish and Spencer Tracy.

Additional Information:
For the five-part story of the Holcombe family, go
here . . .

To read about the Bliss Family and more on Catherine Chapin, go here . . .

Research Notes: There is a wealth of information about the Chapin family that can be found on the internet, including: the website; the website, the website, the website and many other family websites. There are also print books on the family available.

This post is one of a series about the allied Colonial Families that branch off from my Holcombe line. From time-to-time, additions to the series are made. For an overview of all of the families covered and links to each story, go here . . .

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