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Compiled by Rev. Charles Albert Hayden.
Revised by Jessie Hale Tuttle (1929).

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     The origin of the name CAPEN and the early history of the family is shrouded in mystery. Several spellings of the name are found in England; but nothing definite is known of the original spelling or meaning of the name.
     Bernard Capen1 was the eldest of the name who came to America. He came, probably from Dorchester, in old England, as appears from the will of his son James2 who died in England before the family came to America. The exact date of his arrival in this country is not known. His wife, Joan, and three children are said to have come with him. Some of the other children may have preceded him and one at least must have come later. He is named among the first settlers of Dorchester, Mass.  He was granted land in Dorchester 5 Aug. 1633 which is the date of the first appearance of his name on the records of Dorchester.  He died there 8 d. 9 mo. 1638 aged 76, which makes his birth about 1562.  He built a house, which is still in existence (1928) and considered by many the oldest house in New England.  The original house, which was built probably in 1633, had a large addition made to it about a hundred years later and for upwards of three hundred years stood on the original site.  In 1909 it was moved to Milton and set up on a hill in what is much like its original setting.

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