, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Semester. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Semester family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames
were adopted in medieval England
is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Semester is a local
type of surname and the Semester family lived in the village of Somaister,
in the county of Cornwall.
Early Origins of the Semester family
The surname Semester was first found in Cornwall
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the manor of Old Port in Modbury, from very ancient times, some say long before the Norman Conquest
in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Semester family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Semester research.Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 164 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Semester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Semester Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Somester, Somaster, Summaster, Sumaister, Sommester, Sommaster, Simister, Semister, Simester and many more.
Early Notables of the Semester family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Semester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Semester family to the New World and Oceana
An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Semester or a variant listed above:
Semester Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Hen Semester, who landed in Virginia in 1642 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
The Semester 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: Quasi summus magister
Motto Translation: As though the highest master.