This interesting and uncommon name is found chiefly in the north eastern and northern counties of England, particularly the Lake District, where it originated. The surname may be either topographical or locational, and in either case is derived from the Middle English "chapele, chapelle", chapel (from the Old French), and "how(e)", small hill, mound, or barrow, adopted into Middle English from the Old Norse "haugr". As a topographical surname, Chappelow and its many variant forms, ranging from Chapplehow, Chap(p)elhow and Chapel(h)owe to Chap(p)low, Chap(p)el(l)ow and Chappilow, denoted residence by "a chapel on a hill". Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The surname development has included the following examples: John Chapelhow (1544, Westmorland); John Chappillowe (1584, Cumberland); Margeria Chappelo (1596, Durham); and Francis Choppilow (1600, ibid.). Among the recordings of the name in Church Registers are those of the marriage of Thomas Chappelow and Margaret Edmundsonn, at Crosby Garrett, Westmorland, on November 2nd 1586, and the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas Chappelow, on March 22nd 1600, at Haughton le Skerne, County Durham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Chappelhow, which was dated February 27th 1541, witness to the christening of his son, Robert, at Lowther in Westmorland, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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