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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The ancestors of the Sansom family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Sansom is based on the Norman personal name Samson.


The surname Sansom was first found in Gloucestershire, but the was quickly scattered throughout Britain as they claim descendancy from "De St. Sampson, from the lordship near Caen, Normandy. Ralph de St. Sansom accompanied the Conqueror, and [by] 1086 held estates in several counties. William Sampson, his descendant, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron 1297-1304. " [1] Another reference notes "Samson, the name of a Welsh bishop (fl. 550) who crossed over to Brittany and founded the abbey of Dol where he was buried and venerated as a saint. Whether his name is the Biblical Samsom or one of Celtic origin is uncertain. The name was popular in Yorkshire and eastern counties." [2]

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Sansom include Sampson, Samson and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sansom 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 Sansom History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Sansom 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.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Sansoms to arrive on North American shores:

Sansom Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Sansom, who arrived in Virginia in 1658
  • John Sansom, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682
  • Francis Sansom, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1684

Sansom Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Sansom, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • William Sansom, who landed in America in 1765

Sansom Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Sansom, who arrived in New York in 1802

Sansom Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Sansom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
  • Elizabeth Sansom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
  • George Sansom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
  • John Sansom, aged 38, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Macedon"

Sansom Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Robert Sansom, aged 31, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • Ann Sansom, aged 32, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841


  • Emma Sansom (1847-1900), Alabama farmgirl noted for her bravery during the American Civil War, eponym of Emma Sansom Middle School
  • Arthur B. Sansom (1920-1991), American comic strip cartoonist
  • Ray Sansom (b. 1962), American member of the Florida House of Representatives
  • Kenneth Graham Sansom (b. 1958), English former footballer
  • Lieutenant-General Ernest William Sansom (1890-1982), Canadian Inspector-General, National Defence Headquarters
  • Peter Sansom (b. 1958), British poet
  • Ann Sansom, British poet and writing tutor
  • Ivan Sansom, British palaeontologist
  • William Sansom (1912-1976), British novelist, travel and short story writer
  • Gareth Sansom (b. 1939), Australian artist, painter, printmaker and collagist




  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. 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).
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 23 April 2016 at 09:20.

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