This unusual and interesting name is a variant form of the more familiar surname 'Chaplin', which is of early medieval English and French origin, and is an occupational surname for a clergyman or for someone employed as the servant of a clergyman. The name derives from the Middle English and Old French word 'chapelain', meaning a chantry priest, a priest endowed to sing mass daily on behalf of the souls of the dead. The Old French derives from the Latin 'capellanus', a derivative of 'capella', chapel, sanctuary. The surname development includes Thomas le Chapelyn (1241, Cambridgeshire) and Robert Chaplyn (1592, London). There are a number of variants of the modern surname, ranging from Chapl(a)in, Chapling and Caplin to Chaperling, Caperling, Shiplin and Chiplin. One Elizabeth Chiplin was christened on July 2nd 1704 at St. Anne's, Soho, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Capelein, which was dated 1203, The Hampshire Curia Rolls, 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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