Sancto 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 Sancto name is derived from St. Leger. "The St. Legers came from Caen in Normandy (Chron. of Battel Abbey, p. 59), and a family tradition asserts that the patriarch, Robert, was not only present at William's invasion in 1066, but actually supported him with his hand as he quitted the ship! There are six places bearing this name mentioned in the Itin. de la Normandie. Its Latinization is De Sancto." [1]

Another source notes that it was a "name of a warlike king of the Saxons in the Nibelungen Lied, which occurs in some local names in Anglo-Saxon charters, as Ludegarsttin and Lutegáreshale, which latter Kemble thinks may be Ludgershall, in Wiltshire." [2]

Saint Leodegar (or Leger), known as Leodegar of Poitiers (Latin: Leodegarius; French: Léger; c. 615-679) was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun.

Early Origins of the Sancto family

The surname Sancto was first found in Kent where Robert St. Leger was granted estates at Ulcombe and became Lord of the Manor of Ulcombe. "Ulcombe Place and manor belonged to the family of St. Leger, of whom Sir Robert, of an ancient house in Normandy, is said to have supported the Conqueror with his hand when landing on the Sussex coast. The present edifice, [(church)] which is in the later English style, contains some very old monuments to the St. Legers." [3] He also held estates at Bexhill in Sussex.

Early History of the Sancto family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sancto research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1540, 1440, 1483, 1441, 1483, 1596, 1475, 1536, 1544, 1560, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1563, 1563, 1571, 1571, 1583, 1584, 1585, 1631, 1678, 1476, 1526, 1535, 1613, 1496, 1559, 1589, 1571, 1572, 1600, 1618, 1619, 1627, 1600, 1665, 1621, 1650 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Sancto History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sancto Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include St.Leger, Leger, Legere, Sallinger, Sellinger, St. Ledger and many more.

Early Notables of the Sancto family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440-1483) second son of Sir John St Leger (d.1441) of Ulcombe, Kent, and his wife, Margery Donnet. He was executed on 13 November 1483, at Exeter Castle, despite the offer of large sums of money on his behalf. Sir John St Leger (died 1596), of Annery in the parish of Monkleigh, Devon, was an English landowner who served in local and national government. He was the son of Sir George St Leger (c.1475-1536), of Annery, by his wife, Anne Knyvett, daughter of Sir Edmund Knyvett of Buckenham. He...
Another 182 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sancto Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sancto family to Ireland

Some of the Sancto family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 249 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Sancto 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:

Sancto Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Sancto, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [4]
  • Mrs. Sancto, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [4]
  • Miss Sancto, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [4]


The Sancto 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: Haut et bon
Motto Translation: High and good.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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