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Surname Capellen - Meaning and Origin

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Capellen: What does the surname Capellen mean?

The last name Capellen is of French origin and can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It is most likely derived from the Old French word "capele", meaning chapel. This indicates that this surname is likely linked to people who had some kind of professional or social connection with a chapel. In medieval France, chapels were seen as places of refuge and sanctuaries for pilgrims and travelers to the area. Furthermore, some chapels were also associated with the monastic orders or the local aristocracy, making the name a testament to various levels of service to the divide between the clergy and the secular world.

As time passed, families with the surname began to spread around Europe. The name is now found in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. There is even a French noble house named Capellen, which is associated with a castle in Luxembourg.

Overall, the surname Capellen likely began as a marker of status and social standing, derived from a professional connection to a chapel or even connection to the monastic orders of medieval France. In modern times, it is present throughout Europe as a reminder of those ancestral roots, many of which have been preserved due to the power of families to continue to pass down and perpetuate their legacy.

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Capellen: Where does the name Capellen come from?

The last name Capellen is common primarily in areas of Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg, with a smaller presence in the United States and other countries around the world. In the United States, the majority of those with the last name in 2020 lived in New York, followed closely by Florida.

In Germany, France, and Belgium, the name is most commonly found in the western portion of the country. In the Netherlands, they are primarily located in and around Utrecht. In Luxembourg, it is one of the most popular surnames and can be found in larger cities, such as Luxembourg City.

In the United States, most Capellens can be found in southern states such as Georgia and Alabama. There are smaller concentrations in the mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

Among the countries where the last name Capellen is most common, it is primarily a Catholic surname. The name is not exclusive to any particular religious group, however, as it has spread to other non-Catholic countries.

The earliest known ancestor of the Capellen surname is Johannis Capellen, a nobleman from Luxembourg. Johannis lived in the sixteenth century and left descendants who took his name. They continued to carry the name into the 21st century.

Variations of the surname Capellen

The surname Capellen has several variants, spellings, and associated surnames. Capellen typically originates from Dutch-speaking regions, and the name can be spelled in a variety of ways with the most common being Capellen, Capellens, Capelen, as well as Capelles and Capells.

The Dutch spelling of the name is often altered when the family immigrates to other regions, resulting in spellings such as Cappellan, Kappelen, Kapellen, Caepelin, Capylen, Kaapel, Kaapelin, Kapellan, Kappel, Kappelin, and Kapelyen.

As with many surnames, Capellen has various linked surnames, such as the Dutch Kapelle, Capello, Cappello, Caps, Kappelhof, and Capelmans. It is also linked to the German Capeller, Capeler, Kapeller, Kappeller, and Kappeller; the French Capple, Cappel, and Capelle; and the Italian Capella, Cappella, and Capello.

The Capellen family also has its own noble title with several branches appearing in noble and aristocratic families in countries such as Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia, and Belgium. The titles of Baron of Capellen, Count of Capellen, and Prince of Capellen are all tied to the family.

Famous people with the name Capellen

  • John of Austria, Prince of the House of Capellen (1734-1781): He was a military leader during the Austrian War of Succession, and became a national hero of the then Austrian Netherlands.
  • Count August Charles von Capellen (1766-1832): He was a soldier in the Prussian Army, and the first Prussian governor of the newly acquired Grand Duchy of Posen.
  • Guillaume, Count of Capellen (1767-1829): He was a politician and diplomat who served in several high-ranking positions in the Dutch Government.
  • Louise, Countess of Capellen (1767-1827): She was a philanthropist who established the Capellen House of Charity, a society that provided relief to the poor of the Dutch Republic.
  • Alexis Charles Paul, Count of Capellen (1768-1832): He was a Dutch politician who served on the States-General, the Dutch parliament.
  • Auguste, Count of Capellen (1773-1832): He was a French aristocrat who served as an aide-de-camp to Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Francis Adolphe de Capellen (1776-1849): He was an American diplomat who served as the US Ambassador to the Dutch Republic.
  • Hieronim Wincenty de Capellen (1779–1857): He was a Polish nobleman and statesman who served as a minister of Education under the Kingdom of Poland, and later became Prime Minister of Poland (1855-1856).
  • John William I, Count of Capellen (1797-1861): He was a Dutch diplomat and politician who served as a cabinet minister in the Netherlands government.
  • Carl August Philipp de Capellen (1799-1837): He was a German philosopher and agnostic who wrote many works on religion and philosophy, and was influential in the early days of modern Atheism.

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