England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sumerset family lived in the county of Somerset, to which their name is a reference.
Early Origins of the Sumerset family
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 of Wiltshire 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
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 Sumerset family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sumerset 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 Sumerset History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sumerset Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Somerset, Somersett, Sommerset and others.
Early Notables of the Sumerset 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 Sumerset Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sumerset family to Ireland
Some of the Sumerset 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 Sumerset family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Sumerset 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 Sumerset 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.
Sumerset Family Crest Products