Saymour History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Saymour family name to the British Isles. They lived in Monmouthshire. Their name, however, is a reference to St. Maur, near Avranches, Normandy. [1]

"The baronial family of St. Maur, founded by the warrior of Hastings, became extinct in the chief male line at the decease in 1499 of Richard, 6th Lord St. Maur, whose only daughter and heiress, Alice, wedded William, 6th Lord Zouche of Haryngworth. The Seymours, Dukes of Somerset, whose historic greatness needs little of ancestral aid to augment its glory, claim to be a scion of the baronial house, and their pretensions may be sustained by the valuable authority of Camden." [2]

Early Origins of the Saymour family

The surname Saymour was first found in Monmouthshire. However, records differ on who was the progenitor of the family. One reference claims that Wido de St. Maur came to England in 1066 but was deceased before 1086 and would have therefore not appeared in the Domesday Book. His son William Fits-Wido held a barony in Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucester and ten manors in Somerset. [3]

"A Gilbertine priory, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was founded [in Poulton, Gloucestershire] about 1347, by Sir Thomas de Sancto Mauro, or Seymor." [4]

Another reference claims they were descended from Roger Sancto Maure who lived during the reign of Henry I and was Lord of Seymour Castle. [5]

Early History of the Saymour family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Saymour research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1458, 1509, 1537, 1474, 1536, 1547, 1549, 1528, 1593, 1563, 1613, 1599, 1674, 1663, 1646, 1648, 1632, 1708 and are included under the topic Early Saymour History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Saymour 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. Maur, Seymour, Seymer, Seymar, Seamor, Seamour, Seemour and many more.

Early Notables of the Saymour family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Seymor, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1458. Jane Seymour (1509?-1537), was "third queen of Henry VIII, was eldest of the eight children of Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall, Savernake, Wiltshire, by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk. Her mother's family claimed a distant relationship to the royal family." [6] Sir John Seymour, of Wiltshire, KB (c.1474-1536), was English gentry, courtier to King Henry VIII, father of the king's wife Jane Seymour; Edward Seymour...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Saymour Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Saymour family to Ireland

Some of the Saymour family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Saymour 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:

Saymour Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Saymour, aged 48, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842


The Saymour 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: Foy pour devoir
Motto Translation: Faith for duty.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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