Origin of Surname
The probable derivation of this name is the old French for chaplain, a priest saying mass in a chapel or a clerk attached to a chapel.
The name appears as Le Chapelain in the Assize Roll of 1309.
It is common today in Normandy as Chaplain and Lecaplain. A record in Caen dating back to 1083 refers to Odo Capellanus, and Petro Capellano is found in an 1175 record from Coutances. Jehan Chapellain appears in a Lisieux record from 1461.
The Jersey family is something of a mystery. Although documents show the name recorded as Le Chapelein as early as 1309, there are no entries in the church registers until the marriage of Estienne Le Chappelain to Marie Laisne in St Lawrence in 1702. They are at the top of the family tree below.
This suggests that Estienne and Marie, who does not appear to have been born in Jersey, although there was a family of that name in the 17th century, may have come to Jersey from France, possibly as Huguenot refugees. Although Estienne does not appear in the list of abjurations by refugees, there were ten Le Capelains from the Coutances area who abjured, seven in the 1680s and three more in 1711-12.
Although it has been suggested that the renowned Jersey artist John Le Capelain was descended from the St Peter family, we now believe this not to be so, and think it more likely that his 2x great-grandfather Jean moved to Jersey separately from France - see family tree below.
Spellings found in early Jersey records
- Capelein, 1331
- Le Chapelein, 1309
- Le Chapelleyn 1309
Spellings found in St Peter baptism register, all of which should probably have been Le Cappelain, but a separate family does appear to have established using the spelling Le Capelain
- Le Cappelain
- Le Capelain
- Le Capelin
- Le Capelen
- Le Caplain
- Le Cappellain
- Le Capellein
- Le Capellain
Spellings found in France
We completely revised the Le Cappelain and Le Capelain family trees on 3 January 2016, removing branches which cannot be proved to fit into the first three existing trees, and creating new trees. We believe that some of these trees are linked, but that there are almost certainly key baptism records missing from the St Peter registers from 1758 to 1777, which make it impossible to confirm those links.
- Descendants of Etienne Le Cappelain
- Descendants of Jean Le Cappelain, a branch of the above tree from a different source
- Descendants of Gedeon Le Cappelain Added 2016
It is possible that the Etiennes at the head of the following three trees are the same person, having married Marie Colomb first and Elizabeth Bisson two years after his first wife died, then Susanne Le Feuvre three years after that. There are no baptism records for any Etienne born at a time which would fit with any of the three marriages. The 1841 census shows Amice, a son of Etienne and Marie Colomb farming in St Peter, next door to Pierre, son of Etienne and Susanne Le Feuvre.
- Descendants of Etienne Le Cappelain and Marie Colomb Added 2016
- Descendants of Etienne Le Cappelain and Elizabeth Bisson NEW
- Descendants of Etienne Le Cappelain and Susanne Rachel Le Feuvre Added 2016
- Le Capelain baptisms in Jersey
- Le Capelain marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Le Capelain marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Le Capelain burials in Jersey
- Le Cappelain baptisms in Jersey
- Le Cappelain marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Le Cappelain marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Le Cappelain burials in Jersey
- John Le Capelain, artist. The ancestry of Jean Le Capelain (1812-1848), one of Jersey's most revered artists, has been something of a mystery. His parents are shown in George Balleine's Biographical Dictionary of Jersey as Samuel Le Cappelain and Elizabeth Anne Pinkney, with his birth shown as 5 October 1812 in St Helier. However, there is no record either of his parents' marriage or his baptism in Jersey, and it is now known that both took place in London. See biography.
Le Capelain family members who served in the Great War
- Arthur Henry Le Cappelain (1880-1915) (St B) son of William James and Melvina Jane, Private, Gordon Highlanders
- George Henry Le Cappelain (1881- ) (St B) son of George Philip and Janet, Sapper RE
- John William Le Cappelain (1899- ) (St B) Private, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment, RAF
Click on any image to see a larger version. See the Jerripedia gravestone image collection page for more information about our gravestone photographs
The church record links above will open in a new tab in your browser and generate the most up-to-date list of each set of records from our database. These lists replace earlier Family page baptism lists, which were not regularly updated. They have the added advantage that they produce a chronological listing for the family name in all parishes, so you do not have to search through A-Z indexes, parish by parish.
We have included some important spelling variants on some family pages, but it may be worth searching for records for a different spelling variant. Think of searching for variants with or without a prefix, such as Le or De. To search for further variants, or for any other family name, just click on the appropriate link below for the first letter of the family name, and a new tab will open, giving you the option to choose baptism, marriage or burial records. You will then see a list of available names for that type of record and you can select any name from that list. That will display all records of the chosen type for that family name, and you can narrow the search by adding a given name, selecting a parish or setting start and end dates in the form you will see above. You can also change the family name, or search for a partial name if you are not certain of the spelling
The records are displayed 30 to a page, but by selecting the yellow Wiki Table option at the top left of the page you can open a full, scrollable list. This list will either be displayed in a new tab or a pop-up window. You may have to edit the settings of your browser to allow pop-up windows for www.jerripediabmd.net. For the small number of family names for which a search generates more than 1,500 records you will have to refine your search (perhaps using start or end dates) to reduce the number of records found.
Since August 2020 we have added several thousand new records from the registers of Roman Catholic, Methodist and other non-conformist churches. These will appear in date order within a general search of the records and are also individually searchable within the database search form