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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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,  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 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.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sams Notables 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 Sams or a variant listed above were:
Sams Settlers in 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 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 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 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
Sams Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
- Peter Sams, aged 27, who emigrated to Winnepeg, Canada, in 1911
Sams Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Sams, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Sheri Lynette Sams, American professional basketball player
- Ronald Sams, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Delaware, 2008
- Oliver N. Sams, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1904
- Michael S. Sams, American Democrat politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates 9th District, 1992
- Janice G. Sams, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1984
- James Sams, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 2012
- I. D. Sams, American politician, Mayor of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, 1952-53
- H. William Sams, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Georgia, 1972
- David Ronald Sams (b. 1958), American Republican politician, Candidate for Governor of California, 2003
- Clif Sams (b. 1940), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 2004, 2008
- The Sams Family of Virginia by Crawford F. Sams.
- The Sams Family by Elizabeth Manuel.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
- Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
- 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.
- MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
- Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
- Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
- Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
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 22 October 2015 at 09:30.
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