Sampson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Sampson family

The surname Sampson was first found in Gloucestershire, but the family 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 Samson or one of Celtic origin is uncertain. The name was popular in Yorkshire and eastern counties." [2]

Samsom (died 1112), was and English divine, Bishop of Worcester, born at Douvres near Caen, was the son of Osbert and Muriel, who were of noble lineage.

Samsom (1135-1211), was Abbot of St. Edmund's, born at Tottington, near Thetford in Norfolk. "When nine years old he was taken by his mother on a pilgrimage to St. Edmund's. 'As a poor clerk,' he received gratuitous instruction from a schoolmaster named William of Diss. " [3]

Early History of the Sampson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sampson research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1112, 1627, 1600, 1667, 1590, 1636, 1629, 1700, 1668, 1680, 1554, 1517, 1589, 1517, 1590, 1636 and 1612 are included under the topic Early Sampson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sampson Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Sampson family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667), a French cartographer of Scottish descent; William Sampson (1590?-1636?), an English dramatist from Retford, Nottinghamshire; and his son, Henry Sampson (1629?-1700), an English nonconformist minister and physician. Born at South Leverton, Nottinghamshire, and after the Restoration, he preached for some time privately at Framlingham, and founded an independent congregation, which still exists. Turning to medicine, he studied at Padua and at Leyden, where he graduated M.D. on 12 July 1668. He practised in London, and was admitted an honorary fellow of the College of Physicians on 30 Sept. 1680. [3] Richard...
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sampson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sampson World Ranking

In the United States, the name Sampson is the 817th most popular surname with an estimated 37,305 people with that name. [4] However, in Canada, the name Sampson is ranked the 846th most popular surname with an estimated 6,325 people with that name. [5] And in Australia, the name Sampson is the 597th popular surname with an estimated 6,542 people with that name. [6] New Zealand ranks Sampson as 811st with 900 people. [7] The United Kingdom ranks Sampson as 942nd with 7,369 people. [8] South Africa ranks Sampson as 899th with 7,761 people. [9]

Ireland Migration of the Sampson family to Ireland

Some of the Sampson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sampson migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Sampson (Samson) arrived on the "Mayflower" in 1620
  • Harry Sampson, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 [10]
  • Abraham Sampson, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1629-1630 [10]
  • Ro Sampson, who arrived in New England in 1630 [10]
  • Mr. Richard Sampson, (b. 1607), aged 28, British tailor travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Elizabeth and Anne" arriving in Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire) in 1635 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sampson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christopher Sampson, who landed in Virginia in 1717 [10]
  • James Sampson, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [10]
  • Peter Sampson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [10]
  • Dewald Sampson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [10]
Sampson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Catharine Anne Sampson, aged 14, who landed in New York in 1810 [10]
  • John Curran Sampson, aged 16, who landed in New York in 1810 [10]
  • Grace Sampson, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1810 [10]
  • John Sampson, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1815 [10]
  • Daved Sampson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sampson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Richard Henry Sampson, (b. 1882), aged 22, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th April 1904 en route to Houghton, Michigan, USA [12]
  • Benedick Severin Sampson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1921 [10]

Canada Sampson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sampson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Sampson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Sampson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Edward Sampson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Aaron Sampson, who arrived in Quebec in 1784
  • Theophilus Sampson, who arrived in Quebec in 1784
Sampson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Janet Sampson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1848

Australia Sampson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sampson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Sampson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. James Sampson, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. Densley Sampson, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "David Lyon" on 29th April 1830, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [15]
  • Mr. William Sampson, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Frederick Sampson, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sampson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sampson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Sampson, (b. 1818), aged 22, English agricultural labourer born in Netherbury travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [18]
  • Mrs. Mary Sampson, (b. 1817), aged 22, English settler born in Dorset travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [18]
  • Miss Marina Sampson, (b. 1840), aged 9 months, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [18]
  • Gerard de Thierry Sampson, aged 33, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Ellen Sampson, aged 27, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Sampson migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [19]
Sampson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Peter Sampson, who settled in Barbados in 1670

Contemporary Notables of the name Sampson (post 1700) +

  • Zabdiel Sampson (1781-1828), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 8th District, 1817-20; Resigned 1820; U.S. Collector of Customs, 1820-28; [20]
  • William J. Sampson Jr., American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1956 [20]
  • William Sampson, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1912 [20]
  • Warner J. Sampson, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 3rd District, 1902 [20]
  • Steven Sampson, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nevada, 2000 [20]
  • Oscar C. Sampson, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1972 [20]
  • Nicholas Sampson (b. 1844), American Republican politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 19th District, 1901-04 [20]
  • John R. Sampson, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Bennettsville, South Carolina, 1878-81 [20]
  • John L. Sampson, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Senate 19th District; Elected 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2008 [20]
  • Jessica Sampson, American politician, Representative from Arizona 2nd District, 1982 [20]
  • ... (Another 43 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bradford City stadium fire
  • Jayne Sampson (1967-1985), from Leeds who attended the Bradford City and Lincoln City Third Division match on 11th May 1985 when the Bradford City stadium fire occurred and she died in the fire
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William Sampson (1861-1914), English Chief Engineer From Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [21]
  • Mr. Samuel Sampson (1881-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Guelph, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [21]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Joseph  Sampson (1880-1917), Canadian resident from Three Mile Plains, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [22]
  • Mr. Nathan  Sampson (1887-1917), Canadian resident from Three Mile Plains, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [22]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Ronald Sampson, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. Ronald Sampson, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [24]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Sherley Rolland Sampson, American Radioman Third Class from Minnesota, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [25]


The Sampson Motto +

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.


Suggested Readings for the name Sampson +

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

  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)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  10. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  11. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 24th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  13. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-lyon
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dunvegan-castle
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  21. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  22. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  23. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  24. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  25. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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