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The Semister history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Semister history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Semister family originally lived in the village of Somaister, in the county of Cornwall.

Early Origins of the Semister family


The surname Semister 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.

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Early History of the Semister family

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Early History of the Semister family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Semister research.
Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 164 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Semister History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Semister Spelling Variations

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Semister 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.

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Early Notables of the Semister family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Semister family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early Semister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Semister family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Semister family to the New World and Oceana


Early records show that people bearing the name Semister arrived in North America quite early: Willaim Simister to Virginia in 1659; and S. Sommester landed in America in 1750.

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The Semister Motto

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The Semister 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.


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Semister Family Crest Products

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Semister Family Crest Products



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See Also

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