This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a merchant or trader, derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "chapman", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ceapmann", a compound of "ceap", barter, bargain price or property and "mann", man. It is thought that some early Chapman's were stationary, while others were itinerant dealers, both dealt in a wide variety of goods. The travelling Chapman was of a lower grade. The surname development since 1206 (see below) includes the following: Alice Chepman (1207, Derbyshire), Thomas le Chapman (1266, Staffordshire), Nicholas le Chipman, (1320, Somerset) and Henry le Chupman (1327, Hampshire). The modern surname can be found as Chapman, Chipman, Chapper, Chipper and Cheeper; Chipman is a West Saxon form of the name. One Henry Chapman, aged 19 yrs., was an early settler in America, leaving London on the "Primrose", bound for "Virginea" in July 1635. Among the recordings in London is the marriage of Richard Chapman and Hester Bonne on December 16th 1645 at St. Botolph's, Bishopgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Chapman, which was dated 1206, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Yorkshire", 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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