I am a new world shapter. Over here, unlike the UK, "Shapter" is not a familiar name, as such. It is usually assumed to be "Sheppard" or "Shepherd" or of Germanic roots - Schaptner, Shaffer, Scahfter etc.. There is one line of Shapters here which call themselves "Chapter". As best as I can tell, this was a result of a (French ?) priest who registered the name as Chapter. Maybe he spelled the"Sh" as French(soft) "Ch" - chapeau cheval etc. ???
The name stuck and some families retained the spelling. One obituary for a Chapter, had a male sibling listed as Shapter!
In order to ensure proper spelling, I say that the name is pronounced like "chapter" [of a book], but with an"S". Then it is spelled "Schapter" ! Since the national bookstore chain "Chapters" opened here - all hope is lost!
What I am curious about are the maternal ancestors. Apparently the most likely ancestors in Newfoundland are Thomas Shapter (trader -1700's) in "Quidi Vidi"(near St. John's) and John Shapter (ex-Devon, c. 1840).
John Shapter converted to RC faith, apparently to marry a Kehoe (Irish). His first son, however was "Joseph". Joseph, my great-grandfather, had at least two sons and one daughter in his second marriage. All the children were given a middle name of "Joseph"!??!
When my father was buried in an old family plot, one of his friends, a doctor from Lebanon attended. He wandered to a nearby headstone which was written in arabic and english. He declared, with amazement that these people were from his home village! There surname was "Joseph" ??
I am curious......
1)Are the any shapter Family trees with surname "Joseph" or of Lebanese descent?
2) Have any of the "Shapter" branches in Devon taken the "Shapter" name as a result of assimilation?
3) any other info. on my theory of the Chapter Branch