An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2013
Where did the English Sam family come from? What is the English Sam family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sam family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sam family history?
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Sames, Sams, Sammes, Samms, Sam, Same, Samme and others.
First found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Kelveden Hatch held by a steward of Westminster Abbey who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sam research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1636 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Sam History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Sam or a variant listed above:
Sam Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
Sam Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Sam Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The Sam Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sam Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 10 January 2013 at 15:37.
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