The following is an article by John Carroll Chase that appeared in the Jan.
1930 issue of the Chase Chronicle
"The surname Chase, Chaase, Chaste, etc. are rare names in England. There
are 10,446 parishes in England which reported to the government in 1833. The
earliest parish registers begin in 1538, but the registers for a large
number of the 10,446 parishes do not exist for the early period, that is
The brothers Aquila and Thomas Chase came to New England as young, unmarried
men. They were both born before 1620 and their parents must have been born
These English parish registers contain the baptisms, marriages and burials
of the families who lived in the above mentioned parishes.
Out of 537 parishes whose ancient registers have been published in full for
the year 1601, only one parish contained the surname Chaase, viz. Chesham in
Buckingham. Out of 672 parishes in which every surname was taken for 1602,
not one parish contained the name Chase or its variants, which shows that
the name was exceedingly rare in England at the time that the father of
Thomas and Aquila Chase was born.
For sixty years it has been claimed that Aquila and Thomas Chase, who first
appeared in New England at Hampton, N. H., were sons of the Aquila Chase who
was baptized in Chesham , Bucks, 7 Aug. 1580.
He appears as one of six sons of Richard and Joan (Bishop) Chaase who were
there baptized and apparently lived to maturity. Four of the sons of Richard
Chaase of Chesham lived there and had children whose names appear either on
the parish register or in wills of their kinsmen.
There is no later mention in Chesham of Aquila Chaase, although the
registers have been pretty completely kept down to the year 1636. From the
day of his baptism for the next fifty-six years Aquila Chaase was not
mentioned in Chesham, which must be accepted as good negative evidence that
he did not live there in his manhood but removed elsewhere.
It is assumed that he is the Aquila Chaste who lived in Knight Rider's
Street in London (28 miles from Chesham) from 1606 to 1644, as a merchant
tailor. The Christian name Aquila is so rare in England that it goes far
towards proving the identification. He had a son Aquila, baptized 9 April
1626, in the parish of St. Nicholas, Cole Abbey, and buried there 10 January
1659/60, which settles the fact that he could not have been the Aquila of
Hampton, N. H.
Aquila's brothers, Robert, Henry, Ezekiel and Thomas lived in Chesham, 1606
to1644. Of Mordecai, the youngest of the six sons of Richard, nothing beyond
his baptism has appeared or has been discovered.
The foregoing has been prepared by Mr. George W. Chamberlain, who
collaborated with the writer in the compilation of "Seven Generations of the
Descendants of Aquila and Thomas Chase." It is designed to put into
condensed and permanent form all that is really KNOWN about our assumed and
probable English ancestor, although not proven.
Continued research during the past year has failed to unearth any evidence
connecting the Chase immigrants with the Mother Country.
If anyone can furnish any authoritative evidence of the connection the
writer would be pleased to have it, but it must not be merely the
reiteration of erroneous assertions that have appeared in print for many
A self-styled historical organization in Philadelphia has been flooding the
country for several months past with notices of prospective genealogies of
numerous families, Chase being among the number that have been brought to my
attention. Our English connection is asserted but the offer of a substantial
sum for authentic proof has brought no response, although the offer was
made to place the sum in the hands of two well-known reliable authorities.
Anyone who desires to get value received for their money should be careful
in their investing." VERBUM SAP
JOHN CARROLL CHASE