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George Chappell (abt. 1615 - bef. 1682)

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George Chappell aka Chapell, Chappel
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Wethersfield, Connecticut Colonymap
Husband of — married in New London, Connecticut Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died before in New London, New London County, Connecticut Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Jan 2016
This page has been accessed 1,963 times.

Categories: English Immigrants to America | Windsor, Connecticut | Christian, sailed March 1634/35 | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
George Chappell migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Discuss: pgm

Note: The definitive article about George Chappell is Gail Ion Harris's 1996 NEHGR article, Chappell of Windsor, Wethersfield, and New London, Connecticut. Changes to this profile that are inconsistent with that article should not be made without strong refuting evidence.



Date and Place of Birth; Parentage Not Established

George Chappell was born about 1615 in England.[1][2][3] His birth date is based on his age of 20 on a list dated March 16, 1634/5 of men who had taken the oath of allegiance in London in preparation for departing for New England on the ship Christian.[4][2][3]

Many genealogies show George Chappell as being born in Barnstable, England and the son of Alexander Chappell and Johann Ellet of Barnstable. ("Barnstable" is a now obsolete spelling for Barnstaple, England that may have been in use in England in the 1600s and is the source of the name of Barnstable, Massachusetts.)[5] The sources that support this place of birth and parentage are a Millennium File record,[6] Family Data Collection records, and a baptismal record for a baptism in Barnstable on 28 April 1616.[7] However, neither the Millennium File nor Family Data Collection are reliable sources and include data based on unsupported family trees. In addition, Barnstaple baptism records show a George Chappell as the father of a child named Mary who was baptized in Barnstaple 1650[8] and the English National Archives contain a will for a George Chappell of Barnstaple dated July 5, 1655,[9] which suggests that George Chappell of Barnstable/Barnstaple and son of Alexander Chappell and Johann Ellet stayed in Barnstable/Barnstaple and is a different George Chappell. Therefore, in the absence of additional support, George Chappell's birth in Barnstable/Barnstaple and his parentage of Alexander Chappell and Johann Ellet should be considered uncertain at best.

Some family trees alternatively show George Chappell as the son of John Thomas Chappell, the captain of the Speedwell. No source providing any evidence supporting this proposition, however, has yet been found.

The "Great Migration Begins" lists George Chappell's origin as "unknown." [3]

Immigration to New England

George Chappell came to New England aboard the Christian as part of the "Styles party," which was a group of about 20 men assembled by Francis Styles at Sir Richard Saltonstall's expense to prepare grounds and erect houses at Windsor, Connecticut for Saltonstall and other Connecticut patentees. The ship arrived in Boston on June 6, 1635 and then sailed around Cape Cod and up the Connecticut River to Windsor.[2][10]

Residency in Wethersfield

George Chappell lived in Windsor from late 1635 until 1637, being trained as a carpenter.[2] His training seems to have been interrupted, however, when he was among the Hartford levy to fight in the Pequot War.[11] After the war, George was granted a house and lot in Wethersfield, Connecticut, perhaps in consideration for his service in the war.[2]

Three Georges Theory Refuted

An entry in Stiles' "History of Ancient Wethersfield" indicates that there were three different George Chappell's living at the same time in Wethersfield. George Sr, George Jr, and George Chappell, a cooper's apprentice. This proposition was analyzed and refuted in footnote 12 of Gail Ion Harris's definitive NEHGR article about George:

Stiles has contradictory pieces about Chappell in various parts of his two-volume "Ancient Wethersfield." The major flaw consists of statements that there were as many as three George Chappells simultaneously residing in Wethersfield (cf., 1:30, 72, 165, 258). Sherman Adams's notes, for example, led Stiles to include an unflattering reference to a George, "a cooper's apprentice, 1737, or thereabouts, apparently not related to the [other two] -- a dissolute man, of little account" (1:258). But in a deeply buried footnote in the second volume, Stiles says, "as to this, we imagine [Adams] has confused him with George, the original emigrant, of Windsor" (2:206). A broader consideration of colony and town records, including those in New London, shows that all references must be to the same man, and that the characterization goes beyond the facts.

It should therefore be considered the better position that George Sr and George the cooper's apprentice were one and the same man.

First Marriage

While living in Wethersfield, George married a woman whose first name was Christian[2] (which was a fairly common first name at the time). On the assumption that she was the mother of George's first child, their date of marriage was probably about 1642.[12] Christian's name does not appear in the records, however, until 1644 as part of the birth record of George's second child.[2] Christian's last name is not known, although it is speculated that she was the sister of Thomas Bell of Duxbury, Massachusetts, based on a grant by Thomas in 1671 to "all the children of my sister Christian, on her body begotten, who married one Chappell or Chapman, I give and bequeath twenty pounds apiece, &c."[3] According to "The Great Migration Begins," a counterargument is that Thomas Bell was a very wealthy merchant and it is thought unlikely that his sister would have wed a man of such modest means as George Chappell.[3]

George and Christian had the following children:

  1. Mary, b. presumably in Wethersfield about 1642, m. John Daniels in New London in 1664/5
  2. Abigail, b. in Wethersfield on September 1, 1644, m. (1) John Comstock in 1662, m. (2) Moses Huntley in 1680
  3. John, b. presumably in Wethersfield about 1646, m. Elizabeth (Carpenter) Jones, widow of Richard Jones, between 1671 and 1674
  4. Sarah b. Wethersfield 26 September 1647 [WetVR LR1:14]; d. New London 24 November 1660 [NLVR 1:4].
  5. Rachel, b. in Wethersfield on October 10, 1649, m. Thomas Crocker in 1668[3]

Court records indicate that George was far from a model citizen while in Wethersfield. He was taken to court for failure to pay his debts and fined for abusing the constable and excessive drinking.[2]

Residency in New London; Second Marriage

By the early 1650's, George's first wife, Christian, appears to have died and George had married his second wife, Margaret[12] and moved to New London, Connecticut.[2] Like Christian, Margaret's last name is uncertain. Based on numerous connections between George Chappell and William and Mary Taylor, Gale Ion Harris, the author of a 1996 in-depth NEHGR article about George Chappell, believed that Margaret may have been a sister of either William or Mary.[2] If she was a sister of William, her maiden name would have been Taylor. The maiden name of William's wife, Mary, is unknown, so if Margaret was a sister of Mary, her maiden name would also be unknown.

George and Margaret had the following children:

  1. George, II, b. in New London on March 17, 1653, m. (1) Alice Way in New London in 1676, m. (2) Mary Douglas in New London in 1703
  2. Elizabeth, b. in New London on August 30, 1656
  3. Hester, b. in New London in April 1662
  4. Nathaniel, b. in New London on May 21, 1668, m. Hopestill Rosemorgan
  5. Caleb, b. in New London October 7, 1671, m. Ruth Royce in 1694[3]

George's behavior does not seem to have improved in New London. In 1653, he was fined for being "drunk contrary to law," and in 1671 he was among the New London inhabitants involved in a "riot" over a boundary with town of Lyme.[2]


The inventory of George Chappell's estate was taken on June 8, 1682, which means he died sometime before that date.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Godfrey Memorial Library, comp.. American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Gale Ion Harris, "George Chappell of Windsor, Wethersfield and New London, Connecticut," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 150 (1996), pp 48-73
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Vol 2, pp 55-59
  4. 4.0 4.1 John Camden Hotten, "The Original List of Persons of Quality," John Camden Hotten, 1874, pp 42-43.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wikipedia article for "Barnstaple"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Heritage Consulting. Millennium File (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2003.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ancestors of Mary Daniels, wife of Jacob Hess
  8. 8.0 8.1 Thomas Wainwright, "Barnstaple Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1538 A.D. to 1812 A.D.," James G. Commin, 1903, p 91
  9. 9.0 9.1 Will of George Chappell, Clothier of Barnstaple, Devon
  10. 10.0 10.1 U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hosea Starr Balou, "Dr. Thomas Starr, Surgeon in the Pequot War, and His Family Connections," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vo. 89 (1935), pp 174-175
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2012.

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George Chappell
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The three (3) Georges
The three (3) Georges


On 13 Jan 2016 at 19:45 GMT Chase Ashley wrote:

I deleted John Chappell, captain of the Speedwell, and his wife as George's parents. John sailed to Virginia and his son Thomas settled there. I have been unable to find any source that provides any evidence that John had a son named George or that otherwise linked John to this profile's George.

On 13 Jan 2016 at 19:29 GMT Chase Ashley wrote:

I have found no source that suggests that George's wife's name was Margery Becker or Margaret Becker. A number of family trees show her name as Margaret Taylor. Gale Ion Harris's article says her first name was Margaret and says that she may have been a sister of William Taylor or his wife Mary (Unknown) Taylor. Absent someone coming up with evidence supporting Margery Becker, I think George's wife should be put as either Margaret Taylor or, more conservatively, Margaret Unknown.

On 13 Jan 2016 at 06:40 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

Chapell-46 and Chappell-373 appear to represent the same person because: Although they have been assigned two different sets of parents, these are undoubtedly profiles of the same person, George Chappell (so spelled by Anderson and by Harris). The same (2nd) wife is given, the same date and location of death, the same ship of immigration, etc. Since there is no evidence for either of set of parents, I suggest both sets be detached, and the duplicate George Chappell profiles be merged in favor of the Chappell spelling. A note could be included in the text regarding the pros and cons of the various proposed parents, and if evidence is found in the future they could be added back. Please consider this solution to bring separated parts of a single family together in one record. Thank you, April Dauenhauer

On 13 Jan 2016 at 06:12 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

Where is the source for the parents of George Chappell? I found nothing on George's parents in Anderson's Great Migration, or in Gale Harris' lovely 25 page NEHGR article in 1996, detailing his life and descendants.

Is there more recent research?

On 11 Apr 2015 at 00:24 GMT Darlene (Chappell) Cypser wrote:

Chappell-521 and Chappell-373 appear to represent the same person because: same birthdates and death dates.

On 3 Apr 2015 at 22:58 GMT Beth Blankenship wrote:

Chappell-521 and Chappell-373 are not ready to be merged because: I'm not sure about these being the same since they have different wives and 521 has 2 wives listed. 521 could be an error on import of unsubstantiated Ancestry tree (my error). I would defer to the profile manager of 373 on this. If she believes they are the same, then go ahead and merge them. If she thinks 521 is incorrectly connected to her ancestors, let me know!

Thank you!

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