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The surname CHIPPER was an occupational name, the chapman. It is probable that the early chapman was a dealer in stationary. The other occupation would have been a travelling man, a dealer or pedlar in various items. An act of Edward Vi (1461-1483) speaks of 'persons or personnes commonly called pedlar, tinker or pety chapman '. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Early records of the name mention Hugh Chapman, recorded in the year 1206 in County Yorkshire. Nicholas le Chipman was documented in County Somerset in the year 1320. Robertus Wilchapman, of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Chapman was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1541. Alice, daughter of Gyles Chapman was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1619. The name was taken to Scotland by settlers, and the earliest appearance of the name there appears to be when a pardon was granted to a man for causing the death of Ralph Chapman in Dundee in 1296. William Chapman was the provost of Aberdeen in the year 1327, and Willelmus dictus Chapman appeared as a witness in the same town in 1333. Thomas Chepman, a Scottish merchant, complained that in 1359, his ship was sunk by the English during a truce. To Walter Chepman, merchant burgess of Edinburgh and Andro Myllar jointly, James IV granted a patent to establish the first printing press in Scotland in 1507. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of arms in 1884.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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