Clapp, or Clap, is an English surname, most commonly found in the West Country and in the United States. The word signifies rough ground, or a small hill.

Some men who brought the surname "Clapp" to America include:

Captain Roger Clapp, who came to the New World on the ship Mary and John, which landed at Nantasket (now Hull, Massachusetts), on May 30, 1630. He helped establish the town of Dorchester, Massachusetts, soon afterward. He worked for many years in important positions for the town and in the military organization, including a long period as commandant of Castle Island.

Deacon Edward Clapp, an older brother of Roger, arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1633. It has mistakenly been reported that he had no children, but his last will and testament prove otherwise. Edward was married to Prudence, and their son Nehemiah married Sarah Leavitt, daughter of John Leavitt, one of the first settlers of Dorchester and later of Hingham, Massachusetts. Nehemiah Clapp lived in Hingham for a few years, but relocated to Dorchester, where he died at age 38 in 1684.

Thomas Clapp, a cousin of Roger and Edward, arrived in the same ship as Edward in 1633. He later moved to Weymouth, and then to Scituate, Massachusetts, where he was a Deputy of the Court.

Deacon Nicholas Clapp, brother of Thomas, arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1633. He was an upstanding member of his community, occasionally mediating disputes.

George Gilson Clapp came to America in 1666, residing for a time in South Carolina before settling in Westchester County, New York.

By Dean Hanley

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