This interesting surname is a variant of Chappel, which is of early medieval English origin, and has two possible sources. The first source is from a topographical name for someone who lived close to a chapel, derived from the Middle English (1200-1500), Old French "chapel(l)e", chapel, from the Latin "capella", a hood, cloak, but later transferred to the sense of a chapel or sanctuary. The second source is from an occupational name for someone employed in a chapel, derived from the same elements as the first source. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The modern surname can be found as Chappell, Chapell, Chapple, Capelle and Capewell. Among the sample recordings in London is the christening of Abraham, son of Thomas and Ann Chapple, on August 7th 1623 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Chapel, which was dated 1202, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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