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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Sampson family come from? What is the English Sampson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sampson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sampson family history?

The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Sampson name is derived from the Norman personal name Samson.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Sampson, Samson and others.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sampson research. Another 277 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1112, 1627, 1600, 1667, 1590, 1636, 1629 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Sampson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 65 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sampson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sampson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 43 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Sampson or a variant listed above were:

Sampson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Sampson (Samson) arrived on the "Mayflower" in 1620
  • Harry Sampson, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
  • Abraham Sampson, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1629-1630
  • Ro Sampson, who arrived in New England in 1630
  • Richard Sampson settled in Boston in 1635

Sampson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Christopher Sampson, who landed in Virginia in 1717
  • James Sampson, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • Peter Sampson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765
  • Dewald Sampson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765

Sampson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Grace Sampson, aged 40, landed in New York in 1810
  • John Curran Sampson, aged 16, landed in New York in 1810
  • Catharine Anne Sampson, aged 14, landed in New York in 1810
  • Daved Sampson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • John Sampson, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1815

Sampson Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Benedick Severin Sampson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1921


  • Will Sampson (1933-1987), Native American Muscogee (Creek), American actor and artist perhaps best known for his role as the seemingly mute Indian in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • David S. Sampson (b. 1951), American composer
  • Kelvin Sampson (b. 1955), American basketball coach
  • Hazel M. Sampson (1910-2014), American Klallam elder and language preservationist
  • Ralph Lee Sampson Jr. (b. 1960), retired American NBA basketball player, three-time College Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year
  • Christopher Keith "Chris" Sampson (b. 1978), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who played from 2006 to 2010
  • William Thomas Sampson (1840-1902), United States Navy rear admiral, best known for his victory in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War, eponym of the Sampson class destroyers, the USS Sampson (DDG-10), (DLG-102) and the (DD-394)
  • Edgar Melvin Sampson (1907-1973), American composer, arranger, saxophonist, and violinist
  • Ezekiel Silas Sampson (1831-1892), American lawyer, prosecutor, judge, and two-term Republican Congressman (1875-1879)
  • Alden Sampson, American founder of the Alden Sampson Manufacturing Company in 1904 which produced the Sampson automobile



  • Abraham Sampson in America by Elizabeth Newman Hutchinson.
  • Descendants of John and Elizabeth Sansom by Van Edwin Turner.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Pejus letho flagitium
Motto Translation: Disgrace is worse than Death.


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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Sampson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sampson 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 14 October 2014 at 17:39.

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