Summer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Summer is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Summer, a personal name given to a child who was born in the summer. [1]

Looking at the surname and many of its variants over the past couple of hundred years, one can only presume that this is the logical and only explanation for the surname's origin. However, let's explore some contrarian explanations. The name could have been derived from "De Someri, a baronial family. Ralph de Summeri of Normandy temp. John. From Sommeri, near Rouen. " [2]

The name could have been derived from the "personal-name Sumor but there is no evidence from the use of such a person named in the Domesday Book or later." [3]

This noted author continues "the surname is probably identical with the Scottish "Simmer." In Scots, somer is 'a sumpter,' [(packhorse, mule, beast of burden)]applied to men and horses alike." [3] We shall leave the reader with the perplexing conundrum.

Early Origins of the Summer family

The surname Summer was first found in Worcestershire they trace their ancestry to the manor of Whiteladies.

One of the earliest records of the family was John Somer, Semur, Somerarius ( fl. 1380), "Minorite astronomer, belonged to the Franciscan house at Bridgewater, and was probably at Oxford in 1380. " [4]

One of the more interesting family members was William Sommers (died 1560), who is said to have been Henry VIII's fool and a native of Shropshire and "at one time a servant in the household of Richard Fermorq of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire. Brought by his master to the court at Greenwich, 'on a holy day,' about 1525, the king is reported to have noticed favourably his witty sallies and to have installed him at once in the royal household as the court fool. According to tradition, Sommers was soon on very familiar terms with the king. He puzzled him with foolish riddles, and amused him by playing practical jokes on Cardinal Wolsey. " [4]

Early History of the Summer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Summer research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1716, 1440, 1560, 1554, 1610, 1603, 1690, 1651, 1716, 1697, 1759, 1824, 1791, 1824 and are included under the topic Early Summer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Summer Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Summer has undergone many spelling variations, including Somers, Sommers, Summers, Sommer, Summer, Somerton, Sommerton, Sumpton, Sumption and many more.

Early Notables of the Summer family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Henry Somer (fl. 1440), Chancellor of the Exchequer, probably a relative of John Somer, Clerk of the Exchequer in the early years of Henry IV; and William 'Will' Sommers (or Somers) (died 1560), the best-known court jester of Henry VIII of England from Shropshire. Admiral Sir George...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Summer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Summer family to Ireland

Some of the Summer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 136 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Summer migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Summer were among those contributors:

Summer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Summer, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [5]
  • Robert Summer, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [5]
  • John Summer, who arrived in Maryland in 1671 [5]
Summer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Adam Summer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1728 [5]
  • Hans Summer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [5]
  • John Jacob Summer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1744 [5]
  • Jacob Summer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751 [5]
  • Herman Summer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Summer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anna Summer, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [5]
  • Geodlobe Summer, aged 24, who arrived in New York, NY in 1860 [5]
  • Fred Summer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [5]
  • Franz Summer, who arrived in America in 1880 [5]
  • Phillip Summer, who arrived in Ohio in 1886 [5]

Australia Summer migration to Australia +

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

Summer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henrietta Summer, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Macedon" [6]

New Zealand Summer 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:

Summer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Rose Summer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "St. Leonards" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Summer (post 1700) +

  • Donna Summer (1948-2012), stage name of LaDonna Adrian Gaines, American five-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter
  • Elliot Summer, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 10 aerial victories
  • Cree Summer Francks (b. 1969), American-Canadian actress, voice actress and singer, daughter of Don Francks
  • Summer Robin Bartholomew (b. 1951), American model and actress, winner of the 1975 Miss USA pageant
  • Summer Phoenix (b. 1978), born Summer Joy Bottom, an American actress and model
  • Summer Erb (b. 1977), is an American female basketball player
  • Summer Danielle Altice (b. 1979), American fashion model and actress
  • Summer Vanderbilt, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 2008 [7]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 11 January 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MACEDON 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/macedon1853.shtml
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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