The name Sommersett came to England
with the ancestors of the Sommersett family in the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Sommersett family lived in the county of Somerset,
to which their name is a reference.
Early Origins of the Sommersett family
The surname Sommersett was first found in Somerset
where "this is one of the few instances of a surname having been borrowed from a title. Henry Beaufort, third Duke of Somerset
(great-grandson of John of Gaunt), who was beheaded in 1463, for his adherence to the cause of King Henry Vi., left issue a natural son, Sir Charles Somerset
, Knight of the Garter. He was elevated to the peerage, and his lineal descendant, Henry Marquis of Worcester, was created Duke of Beaufort in 1682. Thus in the same blood, the surname and the title have changed places, and instead of Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, we have Somerset, Duke of Beaufort." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Apart from this ironic twist of fate, we found the following in early rolls: Walter de Sumerset in Lincolnshire
in 1206; John de Somersete in 1331 in Wiltshire; and Edmund Somerset
in the Subsidy Rolls
in 1545. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
William de Somersete was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 in Shropshire
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Sommersett family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sommersett research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1463, 1476, 1507, 1601, 1667, 1629, 1700, 1654, 1667, 1660, 1698, 1677, 1679, 1677, 1679, 1629, 1700, 1630 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Sommersett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sommersett Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Somerset, Somersett, Sommerset and others.
Early Notables of the Sommersett family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Elizabeth Somerset, 3rd Baroness Herbert (c.1476-1507), the sole heir and daughter of William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke; Viscount Somerset; Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester (1601-1667), an English nobleman involved in royalist politics, and an inventor; Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort... Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sommersett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sommersett family to Ireland
Some of the Sommersett 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.
Migration of the Sommersett family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sommersett or a variant listed above: Richard Somersett who settled in Jamaica in 1663; William Somerset
settled in Virginia in 1684; Robert Somerset
arrived in Philadelphia in 1834.
The Sommersett 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: Mutare Vel Timere Sperno
Motto Translation: I scorn to change or fear.