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Samson Coat of Arms / Samson Family Crest

Samson Coat of Arms / Samson Family Crest

This surname SAMSON is of English, German, French, Jewish and Flemish/Dutch origin, from the biblical name SAMSON. Among Christians it may sometimes have been chosen as a given name or nickname in reference to the great strength of the biblical character, but a more common association was with a 6th century Welsh bishop SAMSON, who travelled to Brittany, where he died and was greatly venerated. Early records include SAMPSON Foliot, recorded in the year 1273 in the County of Bedfordshire. There is a notation regarding the accounts of Sir John Howard 1467, 'Item the VI day of Aprylle, my master made a covenaunt with SAUNSAM, the tylere that he shalle perget of cloth' The name appears fairly frequently in medieval Irish records from the early 14th century, both in Leinster and Munster. The name was prominent in County Limerick after the Cromewellian upheavel, but it is now scattered. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were found before the year 1000. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. A later instance of the name includes John SAMPSON and Elizabeth Clarke who were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1559.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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