Deacon Samuel Chapin

Deacon Samuel Chapin

Paignton, Torbay Unitary Authority, Devon, England
Death 11 Nov 1675 (aged 77)
Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Body relocated in 1848 to Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.
Memorial ID 7153097 · View Source
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Samuel was a Deacon. Deacon Samuel Chapin was born in Paignton, Devonshire, England on October 8, 1598. He left his native England in 1635 to escape religious persecution. He settled for a time in Roxbury, Massachusetts, before moving his family and helping to found a site they called Agawam. Four years later, Agawam was renamed Springfield, and Deacon Chapin became one of the leading men in the government of the town, and held many public offices during his life, including: Selectmen, Auditor and Magistrate, and he was Deacon of the church. During his life, he became a symbol of the new country's religious founders. Over two centuries after his death, he was immortilized by master sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in bronze with his work called "The Puritan", an 8 foot 7 1/2 inch, 1887 piece that can now be found in Springfield's Merrick Park, to emphasize the piety and perhaps moral rigidity of the country's religious founders. Smaller variants of the work can be found in various museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, at City Hall Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Louvre, Paris, France. Samuel is an ancestor of many famous Americans, including President Grover Cleveland, President William Taft, financier John Pierpont Morgan, actor Spencer Tracy and author/poet Harriet Beecher Stowe. A book was written about the life of Deacon Chapin, titled "Life of Deacon Samuel Chapin of Springfield".


BURIAL Deacon Samuel Chapin and members of his family were buried in the Old Burying Ground in the cemetery that Deacon Samual was instrumental in establishing in 1645. Many years of flooding swept many of the original pioneers into the Connecticut River. Mother nature reclaimed the early settlers leaving no traces of their graves or their remains. Deacon Samual died in 1675 and 173 years later in late 1848 some of the remains and headstones were relocated to Springfield Cemetery. Only 517 headstones confirmed actual relocations and the Chapins were not among the 517. FAG memorial in Sringfield is a Centotaph for the mass graves transferred that no records exist for. There is no confirmation that the Chapins remains were recovered and transferred to Springfield Cemetery. I believe this is probably a factor in the commission of the statue in 1881 by descendant Chester W. Chapin.

Arrived Springfield 1642, resided there 33 years until his death 1675. Considered as one of the first settlers of Springfield and probably has the greatest number of descendants living within the limits of the old County of Hampshire than any other one of the first settlers.

It is not known exactly when he immigrated to America, but it was after 1624. He immigrated to America to escape religious persecution.

Deacon Samuel Chapin was one of founding fathers of Springfield, Massachusetts. There is a statue representing Deacon Samuel Chapin that is located in Merrick Park called "The Puritan".

In 1881, Chester W. Chapin, a railroad tycoon, congressman and Chapin descendant, commissioned master sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens to produce a work memorializing his ancestor. The sculpture, most commonly known as The Puritan, is currently sited in Springfield's Merrick Park. Created to emphasize the piety, and perhaps moral rigidity, of the country's religious founders—evident in the sculpted Chapin's proud pose, certain stride, flowing cape and hefty Bible, as well as his assertive use of a walking cane. Smaller variants of the same work can be found in several museums.
[edit] External links
City of Springfield, Massachusetts Official city website.

Others represent the history of the statue designed in 1881, by the artist, Augustus St Gaudens; he made the figure as a representation of the Puritan dogma rather than as an individual replica of the man himself. The statue is an imposing figure of a man with his eyes focused downward, striding with his knotty walking stick across the pine-strewn New England wilderness and a Bible tucked under his arm.


Many are reporting the history of the Chapin family as known began in Devon England. Samuel is the Son of John Chapin and Phillipe Easton. He was baptized in St John the Baptist Church in Peignton England on October 8, 1598. This may be recent discovery because the Chapin Genealogy does not include these facts:

His wife Cicely Penny or Sicely (as on her will) was the daughter of Henry and Jane (Dabinott) Penny of Paignton, England. She was baptized on February 21, 1601 in Paignton England.

Samuel and Cicely were married on February 9, 1623 at the Church of St John the Baptist in Paignton, England .

Children born in England included: Henry, Josiah, David, Catherine, Sarah. Japhet was born in Roxbury, MA. Hannah was born in Springfield, MA

We know that he was a member of Rev. John Eliot's First Church of Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA, later removed to Springfield, where he was admitted freeman on Jun. 2, 1641 and was a Deacon, constable, selectman, and commissioner.

They had a total of 10 children, three of which died at a very young age or in infancy. All but the last two, were born in England, Japhet was baptized in Roxbury, Suffolk Co, Ma. and Hannah who was born on Dec 2, 1644, in Springfield, Hampden Co. Ma.

Born England
Died 1675 November 11 SVRD p 66
Burial Old Burying Ground, Springfield,MA


Spouse Cicely/Sicely Penny
Died 1682 February 8 SVRD p 85

Chapin Genealogy reports that they had seven children, four sons (Henry, Josiah, David, Japhet) and three daughters (Catherine, Sarah, Hannah) , all of whom, excepting the youngest, Hannah, having been born before coming to Springfield. There is also consideration of another 3 children dying as infants.

1. Henry Chapin-lived in Springfield
born 1630

2. Josiah Chapin-lived in Braintree, then Mendon
m 1658
Mary King

3. David Chapin-removed to Boston
m. 1654

4. Catherine Chapin BLiss Gilbert MARSHFIELD
m1 1646 Nathaniel BLISS
m2 Thomas GILBERT

5. Sarah Chapin THOMAS
Rowland THOMAS

6. Japhet Chapin lived in Springfield, MA
born 1643 October 15 Roxbury, MA
Abelenah COOLEY

7. Hannah
born December 2, 1644 Springfield, MA


1595 Born England

Married in England

Birth of children in England:
1630 Henry
Migrated to New England from England

1638 Dea. Samuel Chapin and wife Cicely, Roxbury, MA

1641 Apr 1 Purchased house and Lott of James How

1641 Both Samuel and Sisly in church records as members of first Church of Roxbury "John Weld's Church" RC Bos Rec Com p 83 & 85

Principally a farmer,but active in town

Pequot War raised concern for safety and they elected to settle in Western New England-Springfield, MA

1642 Oct 15 Japhet baptized Roxbury (R.C. in B.R. C114)

1643 Jan-Samuel's name appears Town Records Springfield, MA He took a prominent part in all the affairs of the town, religious and civil:

* member of the first Board of Selectmen, he served nine consecutive years.
* Committee of six lay out upland and meadows on other side of great river and meadow (Agawam)Sam Recv'd Lot #5 of ten 1/2 acres of meadow grounds & recv'd (other side of river) Lot 21 of half an acre

1644 Feb Land Grant. Samuel was a farmer that became a leading man in the government of Springfield. He was elected as Deacon immediately upon his arrival in Springfield. Called Deacon in records 1649

1644 Sep 26 Chosen first Board of Selectman of Springfield with 4 others to settle disputes, hear complaints,admit inhabitants, regulate highways, bridges,fences, finances and the general affairs of the town of Springfield.

1644 Dec 2 daughter Hannah born Springfield

1645 As one of the Selectmen arrangements made for a cemetery, training ground & meeting house. Law was passed that required every man to join the militia "train band" and to drill once month

1645 Became Constable

1646 Nov 2 Daughter Catherine married Nathaniel Bliss

1647 Difficult year-Spring floods, Summer caterpillars
damaged the crops and fall brought tremendous illness.

1647 Daughter Sarah married Rowland Thomas

1648 Hugh and Mary Parsons accused of Witchcraft, Mary died in prison and Hugh escaped and fled the country.

1649 Feb 21 granted land Agawam Falls (next his 1 1/2 acre)

1651 Jan 22 Granted Lot 21 (acre Mill River)

1652 William Pynchon, Rev George Moxon and Henry Smith returned to England

1652 Oct 26 John Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke & Samuel Chapin were appointed Commissioners, "to hear and determine all cases and offences, both civil and criminal that reach not to life, limbe and banishment."

Deacon Samuel conducted religious services (between the departure of Mr. Moxon and the arrival of Pelatiah Glover)alternating with Henry Burt and John Pynchon.

1653 Served on important committees. General Court appointed him and John Pynchon to lay out Northampton and its bounds, and they made the purchase of the lands from the Indians.

1654 Aug 29 Son David married Lydia Crump

1655 Jul 31 Daughter Catherine, widow of Nathaniel Bliss
married Thomas Gilbert

1658 Son Josiah married Mary King and moved to Braintree,
then Mendon.

1659 General Court appointed him and John Pynchon to lay out Hadley on both sides of the Connecticut River, that on the west side subsequently becoming the town of Hatfield.

1661 Returned to Selectman

1663 Aug 1 Son Josias Chapin admitted as inhabitant

1664 Samuel's name appears on list of Springfield

1664 Jul 22 Son Japhet Chapin married Abelenah Cooley, they
lived in Springfield

1664 Dec 15 Son Henry Chapin married Bethia Cooley and they
lived in Springfield

1664 Dec 28 Catherine Bliss Gilbert married Samuel Marshfield

1664 He petitioned the General Court "for some land for
services done,"

1666 Daughter Hannah married John Hitchock

1669 The Court granted him 200 acres, "as laid out four
miles from Mendon, bounded as in the said platt wch is
on file, provided it exceed not two hundred acres, as
also that it take not in any of the meadows now granted
to Mendon."
1675 Peace Cooper and Miller killed by Indians Burning of
homes in half town of Springfield by Indians

1675 Nov 11 at 10 Deacon of Church at Springfield Samuel
Chapin died. SPFLD Vitals Death p 66 Son Japhet
executor of his will.

1682 Feb 8 Ciseley/Sisely Chapin, widow of Samuel for 7
years became sick and died. SVRD p 69. Japhet Chapin
executor of his mother's will.

Specimens of his handwriting suggest that Deacon Samuel had excellent penmanship for the time period and that his education included penmanship.

[Additional biography provided by M Cooley

Family Members


  • Created by: Bonnie Weller
  • Added: 5 Feb 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7153097
  • Mary Legg Parenteau
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Deacon Samuel Chapin (8 Oct 1598–11 Nov 1675), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7153097, citing Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Bonnie Weller (contributor 46493404) .