CHAPMAN Last Name Meaning and Origin

Street merchant with fruit

Robert Frerck / Getty Images

The popular English surname Chapman most commonly originated as an occupational name for a businessman, trader, or merchant. Chapman derives from the Old High German choufman or koufman, which became the Old English céapmann a compound of ceap, meaning "to barter, bargain, or deal," plus mann, which means "man." It was often, but not always, used as a name for an itinerant merchant.

Chapman is the 74th most common surname in England.

Surname Origin: English


Famous People With the CHAPMAN Surname

  • John Chapman - aka Johnny Appleseed
  • Mark David Chapman - convicted murderer of former Beatle John Lennon
  • Carrie Chapman Catt - suffrage movement leader and founder of the League of Women Voters; Chapman was the surname of her first husband, newspaper editor and publisher, Leo Chapman
  • Steven Curtis Chapman - Christian music singer and songwriter
  • Eddie Chapman - British spy and double agent
  • George Chapman - English dramatist, translator, and poet
  • John Wilbur Chapman - American Presbyterian evangelist
  • Maria Weston Chapman - American abolitionist

Genealogy Resources for the Surname CHAPMAN

Common Surname Search Tips
Tips and tricks for researching your CHAPMAN ancestors online.

Chapman Family Association
This non-profit American-based family association is dedicated to "collecting, compiling and editing historical and genealogical records of Chapman family members."

Chapman Family Tree DNA Project
Over 240 men with the Chapman surname have contributed their Y-DNA results to this free surname project in an effort to sort out the origins of Chapman families worldwide by identifying the Chapman families that most closely match each other.

CHAPMAN Family Genealogy Forum
Free message board is focused on descendants of Chapman ancestors around the world.

FamilySearch - CHAPMAN Genealogy
This free genealogy website offers access to more than 3 million historical records, plus lineage-linked family trees for the Chapman surname.

CHAPMAN Surname Mailing List
Free mailing list for researchers of the Chapman surname and its variations includes subscription details and a searchable archives of past messages. - CHAPMAN Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Chapman.


Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "CHAPMAN Last Name Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Sep. 8, 2021, Powell, Kimberly. (2021, September 8). CHAPMAN Last Name Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "CHAPMAN Last Name Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).