Sanson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Sanson is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest of 1066 brought to England. It comes from the Norman personal name Samson.

Early Origins of the Sanson family

The surname Sanson 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 Sanson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sanson 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 Sanson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sanson Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Sanson family name include Sampson, Samson and others.

Early Notables of the Sanson 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 Sanson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sanson Ranking

In the United States, the name Sanson is the 12,334th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4] However, in France, the name Sanson is ranked the 1,302nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,332 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Sanson family to Ireland

Some of the Sanson 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 Sanson migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Sanson family to immigrate North America:

Sanson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jane Sanson, who arrived in Maryland in 1679 [6]
  • Walter Sanson, who arrived in Virginia in 1695 [6]
Sanson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Sanson, who arrived in New York in 1701 [6]
  • Daniel Sanson, who settled in New York in 1701
  • Isabelle Sanson, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719
  • Hilaire Sanson, who settled in Louisiana in 1720
Sanson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. Sanson, who settled in Illinois in 1886
  • Alexander Sanson, who settled in Nebraska in 1894
  • James Sanson, who settled in Arkansas in 1895
  • James Sanson, who landed in Arkansas in 1895 [6]

Canada Sanson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sanson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Frank Sanson, who arrived in Ontario in 1871
  • David L. Sanson, who settled in Ontario in 1871

Australia Sanson migration to Australia +

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

Sanson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Sanson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [7]
  • Mary Sanson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [7]
  • William Henry Sanson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [7]
  • Elizabeth Sanson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [7]
  • Mary Ann Sanson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sanson 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:

Sanson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William P. Sanson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Midlothian" in 1859
  • Mr. James Sanson, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sanson (post 1700) +

  • William C. Sanson (b. 1865), American Republican politician, Tuscola County Treasurer, 1917-20; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Tuscola County, 1921-24
  • Nicolas-Antoine Sanson, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [9]
  • Yvonne Sanson (1926-2003), Greek film actress
  • Véronique Marie Line Sanson (b. 1949), French singer-songwriter
  • Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667), French cartographer
  • Jean-Baptiste Sanson de Pongerville (1782-1870), French poet, member of the Académie française in 1830
  • Ernest Sanson (1836-1918), French architect
  • Dominique Sanson (b. 1949), French artist
  • Charles Henri Sanson (1739-1806), Royal Executioner of France from 1788 to 1795, he executed nearly 3,000 people, including King Louis XVI himself
  • Boris Sanson (b. 1980), French gold medalist sabre fencer at the 2008 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Sanson 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 Sanson +

  • Legacy of Death by Barbara Levy.

  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. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The HARPLEY 1848 - PASSENGER LIST. Retrieved from
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  9. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, September 11) Nicolas-Antoine Sanson. Retrieved from on Facebook