One of the curiosities of early Rotary is
that two of the
[the four men who met on 23 February 1905 to form what became Rotary]
had backgrounds which seem to owe much to their New England upbringing,
and both Chesley Perry, the long time General Secretary, and Rufus
Chapin, the Treasurer, came from families which also originated in the
Chesley R. Perry was born in
Illinois in 1872, the son of Charles Homer Perry, a tobacco merchant,
and his wife Clara (nee Thayer). Charles and Clara both came from
Worcester, Mass, where they were married on April 24, 1869. Charles
Homer, the latter name being the maiden name of his mother, had also
been born in Worcester on March 17, 1835 to Josiah Gale Perry and his
wife Martha Homer. They had been married on May 28, 1834 in Framingham,
Mass, the home of the Homer family. The Perrys had been settled in the
Worcester area for some time as Josiah was also born there, on June 15,
1810. Josiah's middle name as with Charles, was the surname of his
mother, in his case, Anna Gale, who had married Nathan Perry of
Worcester on October 7, 1792 in their home town.
Rufus Fisher Chapin was also
born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 6, 1867. He was the son of Rufus
Chapin, a Custodian, and his wife Julia Frances (nee Fisher), both of
whom came from Franklin, Norfolk, Mass. They had been married in
Franklin on May 12, 1850 when Rufus was 22, having been born there on
December 4, 1827. Rather confusingly, this Rufus was himself the son of
yet another Rufus, Captain Rufus Chapin who had married Lydia Tufts in
December 1814 at Milford, Mass. Captain Rufus was born on May 15, 1789
(and died October 28, 1840) in Mendon, Worcester, the son of Adams
Chapin and his wife Olive Sumner. From here the line can be traced
Adams Chapin, born in Mendon on April 12, 1750; married in
Mendon December 24, 1775; died October 23, 1832,. Adams parents were
Josiah Chapin and Rachel Albee.
Josiah Chapin, born in Mendon on January 28, 1718; married Rachel
Albee January 1742; died in Mendon April 10, 1778. Josiah's parents
were Seth Chapin and Abigail Adams.
Seth Chapin, born in Mendon on
July 2, 1692; married Abigail Adams at Braintree, Norfolk, Mass on
February 5, 1713, 1723; died in Mendon April 1, 1746. Seth's parents
were Seth Chapin and Bethiah Thurston.
Seth Chapin, born in Braintree on
August 4, 1668; married Bethiah Thurston in Mendon March 25, 1691;
died in Mendon April 1, 1740. Seth's parents were Josiah Chapin and
possibly Lydia Brown Pratt.|
Josiah Chapin, born in Berry Pomeroy, Devon, England on October 29,
1637; married Lydia Brown Pratt in Braintree, September 20, 1676??;
died in Mendon September 10, 1726. Josiah's parents were Deacon Samuel
Chapin and Cecily Penny.
Samuel Chapin, born in Paignton,
Devon, England on October 8, 1598; married Cecily Penny in Paignton,
February 9, 1623; died in Springfield, Hampden, Mass November 11,1675.
Samuel's parents were John Chapin and Philippa Easton.
John Chapin, born in Totnes, Devon September 25, 1566; married
Philippa Easton September 14, 1590; died Paignton June 1, 1600.
Two further generations of Chapins from Totnes are likely to be from the
same family, the earlier one being born in 1508.
It would seem from the birthplaces of the children of Deacon Samuel
Chapin that he emigrated from Devon in about 1641, landing in the Boston
area. His son, Japhet Chapin, was christened [named] in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass
in 1642. Curiously, 1641 was the year in which Hiram Shorey's
ancestor, Sampson Shore, left the same area of England, Devonshire, and
also landed in Boston. It would be nice to think that the two families
knew each other! Similarly, both Chesley Perry's ancestors and those
of Rufus Chapin started their life in America in Massachusetts, not all
that far from each other, and perhaps it was this New England background
which led to them working harmoniously together for so many years.