This interesting surname is one of the patronymic forms of the male given name Samson, a biblical name from the Hebrew "Shimshon" meaning sun-like. Among Christians it may sometimes have been chosen as a given name or nickname in direct reference to the great strength of the biblical character, but a more common association was with the 6th Century Welsh bishop "Samson", who travelled to Brittany, where he died and was greatly venerated. It may also be a patronymic from "Sam", a pet form of Samuel, from the Hebrew "Shemuel" meaning name of God.The given name first appears on record in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire as "Samme Parvus", and the surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 14th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Sams, Samms, Sam, Samme, Sammes, etc.. Katherine, daughter of Luke Sames, was christened at the Church of St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, on November 24th 1588. The family Coat of Arms depicts a black lion rampant with a red wounded breast on a gold shield. On the Crest is a silver lion rampant with a gold collar and chain. The motto "Deo juvante" translates as "God assisting". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan Samme, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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