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This interesting surname with variant spellings Chaplain, Chapling, Caplen, Kaplin etc., is of French origin, found also in England, deriving from the old Norman French word "caplain" and old French and medieval English word "chapelain", meaning "charity priest", a priest who was endowed to sing mass daily on behalf of the souls of the dead. Hence the name is an occupational name for a clergyman or perhaps a servant of one. The name first appears in records in the early 13th Century (see below). Thomas le Chapelyn was mentioned in the Feet of Fines in 1241, while one Nicholas le Chapelain was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1260.
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    KAPLAN Family History

    This interesting surname with variant spellings Chaplain, Chapling, Caplen, Kaplin etc., is of French origin, found also in England, deriving from the old Norman French word "caplain" and old French and medieval English word "chapelain", meaning "charity priest", a priest who was endowed to sing mass daily on behalf of the souls of the dead. Hence the name is an occupational name for a clergyman or perhaps a servant of one. The name first appears in records in the early 13th Century (see below). Thomas le Chapelyn was mentioned in the Feet of Fines in 1241, while one Nicholas le Chapelain was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1260.

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