Sommerville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Sommerville originated in "Sommerville, now Sommervieux, near Caen." [1] Literally the place name meant Sumar's or Somer's estate. Sommerville is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are many different types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

Early Origins of the Sommerville family

The surname Sommerville was first found in Staffordshire, where "the progenitor of the noble family was Walter de Somerville, lord of Wicknor, and of Aston Somerville, in county Gloucester, who came into England with William the Conqueror, and left two sons, who became ancestors respectively of the English and Scottish Somervilles." [2] [3] Black notes that "William de Somerville, first of the name in Scotland, came in the train of David I, and received lands in Lanarkshire. There were five Williams in succession, the last dying in 1282. " [4]

Both of these scenarios could be true as David I of Scotland (1084-1153) was King of the Scots (1124-1153) and born 20 years after the Conquest. In Scotland, there are numerous early listings of the name in one form or another including: Robert de Sumeruilla who witnessed a charter by Duncan, Earl of Fife, to the nuns of North Berwick in 1177; Ralph de Sumervilla, acolyte, who was promoted to the church of Linton in 1255; and William Somerwele of the Plane, who was a charter witness in Edinburgh in 1492. [4]

"The castle of Cowthalley, in the parish [of Carwath, Lanarkshire, Scotland], was, for many years, the baronial residence of the Sommervilles, one of the most opulent and powerful families of the country in the 12th century, and of whom William, the first Baron, was the firm adherent of Robert Bruce, during the disputed succession to the crown." [5]

In England, Jacobus de Somerwill was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Devon and Robert de Somervile and Roger de Somerville were both listed in Staffordshire during the reign of Edward I. [2]

An early branch of the family was found at Barton-Under-Needwood in Staffordshire. "[Barton-Under-Needwood] in Domesday Book called Bertune, gave name to one of the five wards into which the ancient royal forest of Needwood was divided. Edward the Confessor granted it to Henry de Ferrers, from whom it passed to the Somervilles, and afterwards to the earls of Derby, one of whom forfeited the property by rebellion in 1263." [6]

Early History of the Sommerville family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sommerville research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1492, 1567, 1614, 1370, 1444, 1400, 1456, 1491, 1484, 1523, 1484, 1549, 1518, 1569, 1560, 1583, 1632, 1690, 1632, 1675, 1742 and are included under the topic Early Sommerville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sommerville Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Sommerville, Summervillle, Somerville, Somerfield, Somervale, Somervile, Summerville, Summervale, Sumeril, Somahan and many more.

Early Notables of the Sommerville family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Thomas Somerville, 1st Lord Somerville (c. 1370-1444); William Somerville, 2nd Lord Somerville (c. 1400-1456); John Somerville, 3rd Lord Somerville (d. 1491); John Somerville, 4th Lord Somerville (c. 1484-1523); Hugh Somerville, 5th Lord Somerville (c. 1484-1549); and James Somerville, 6th Lord Somerville (c. 1518-1569). John Somerville or Somervile (1560-1583), condemned for treason against the life of Queen Elizabeth, was the head of an ancient Catholic family possessing lands in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, and having their chief seat at Edstone in the former county. He was eldest son of John Somervile of Edston. "On 19 Dec...
Another 137 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sommerville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sommerville family to Ireland

Some of the Sommerville family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sommerville migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sommerville Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Sommerville, who arrived in America in 1807 [7]
  • Thomas Sommerville, who landed in America in 1807 [7]
  • Matthew Sommerville, aged 20, who landed in America in 1822 [7]
  • Andrew, Archibald, Arthur, John, Joseph, and Mathew Sommerville, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1822 and 1864
  • Andw Sommerville, aged 20, who landed in America in 1822 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Sommerville migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sommerville Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Sommerville, aged 34, a farm labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Janet Sommerville, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Donald Sommerville, aged 2, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Isabella Sommerville, aged 4, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815

Australia Sommerville migration to Australia +

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

Sommerville Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Sommerville, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [8]
  • Caroline Hannah Sommerville, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [8]
  • Jessie White Sommerville, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [8]
  • Nancy Catherine Sommerville, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [8]
  • William Sommerville, aged 46, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Navarino" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sommerville 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:

Sommerville Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Janet Ferrier Sommerville, (b. 1829), aged 29, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [10]
  • Mr. Thomas Sommerville, (b. 1829), aged 29, British ploughman travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sommerville (post 1700) +

  • Joey Sommerville, American contemporary jazz musician and producer
  • Andrew Henry Sommerville (1876-1931), 19th century American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Ian Sommerville (1940-1976), American electronics technician and computer programmer
  • William Sommerville, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 12th District, 1871 [11]
  • Walter Byers Sommerville (b. 1854), American Democrat politician, District Judge in Louisiana, 1900-11; Justice of Louisiana State Supreme Court, 1911-16 [11]
  • Thomas H. Sommerville, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1920 [11]
  • Richard S. Sommerville, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 28th District, 1968, 1970; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1988 [11]
  • Oscar C. Sommerville, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1936 [11]
  • Leo L. Sommerville, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Colorado 4th District, 1962 [11]
  • J. B. Sommerville, American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Brooke County, 1877; Member of West Virginia State Senate 1st District, 1885-88 [11]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCE REGENT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839PrinceRegent.htm
  9. ^ South Australian Register Friday 22nd February 1856. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Navarino 1856. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/navarino1856.shtml.
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate