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

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

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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 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, [1] 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sams research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1636 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Sams History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Sams or a variant listed above were:

Sams Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Sams, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1638
  • Margaret Sams, who arrived in Maryland in 1652

Sams Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • George Sams, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Richard Sams, who arrived in Virginia in 1712

Sams Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Jose Sams, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1855
  • Mike Sams, who landed in Texas in 1876
  • Frank Sams, aged 39, who landed in America from Bremen, in 1892
  • Kathie Sams, aged 11, who emigrated to the United States from Bremen, in 1892
  • Mrs. H. H. Sams, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States, in 1892


Sams Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • James Sams, aged 27, who settled in America from Southampton, in 1904
  • Christiana Sams, aged 29, who emigrated to America from Somerset, in 1905
  • William Henry B. Sams, aged 34, who landed in America from London, England, in 1906
  • Laret Sams, aged 13, who settled in America from St. Kitts, British West Indies, in 1910
  • Edward Henry Sams, aged 31, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1911


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  • Sheri Lynette Sams, American professional basketball player
  • Lionel Jeffrey Sams (b. 1961), English darts player who plays for the Professional Darts Corporation
  • Lloyd Ekow Sams (b. 1984), professional English footballer
  • Sidney "Sid" Sams (b. 1988), German footballer


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  • The Sams Family of Virginia by Crawford F. Sams.
  • The Sams Family by Elizabeth Manuel.
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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  11. ...

The Sams Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sams 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 28 December 2013 at 23:21.

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