About John T Chappell
Master of the Speedwell
The Chappells have been traced from America back to England and France, where the name originated in the 10th Century. There was a man (a villain in the Portshead) who lived at the church, and when people identified him, they would say 'A La Chappell' meaning 'at the Church'. (Chappell originated in France, and came over to England with the Huguenots during the Protestant Prosecution.) One of this man's sons accompanied William the Conqueror in England in the Norman Conquest in 1066 and settled there on land awarded him for his service. The family prospered and owned "Copinore" -- the Manor of Portishead. This is detailed in medieval parochial record. Thomas and Martha Chappell moved to Keynsham (Bristol) in 1605. Bennett Chappell was the first Chappell to come to America from England and settled in Virginia in 1585. However, it is not known what happened to him. The Chappell line in America begins with Captain John Chappell of London, England. John was owner and master of the shipSpeedwell, a sister ship to the Mayflower. The Speedwell developed a leak and could not make the voyage with the Mayflower, but did sail May 28, 1635, from South Hampton for the colony of Virginia. John Chappell's son, Thomas Sr., sailed June 23, 1635, at the age of 23 years, to Virginia aboard the ship America. William Barker was America's shipmaster. The ship America sailed from Gravesend, England, and reached the mouth of the Temis River August 1, 1635. They proceeded directly over to cast anchor at Jamestown, Virginia because the law forbadeit to break bulk before reaching there. Thomas continued on about 30 miles up river and located on the south side in Charles City County, opposite Weston andat the mouth of a creek that was named for him -- "Chappell Creek."