Recorded in a wide range of spellings, although all are quite rare, and including Samath, Samart, Samet, Samett, Sammut, Zammit and Zammett, this is an English name but almost certainly of pre 8th century Germanic origins. If this is correct it derives from the ancient word "samet" meaning a thread, and hence was a metonymic occupational name for a maker of velvet cloth. The name may also be Jewish from the same occupational source, however all the early recordings in England are Christian. The Jews were exiled from England in circa 1280 by King Edward 1st, and were not allowed back until 1655, on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. It may be significant that the first recording that we have is in 1658 when Roger Samart was a christening witness at St Olaves church, Southwark, in the city of London, on October 24th of that year. Later recordings taken from surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London and showing the development of the spelling of the surname over the centuries include those of: Lilly Ann Samarth, the daughter of William Samarth, christened at St Botolphs without Aldgate, on August 15th 1714, Palo Zamit, a christening witness at St Catherine Creechchurch, on May 2nd 1816, and Joseph Baltthazer Sammut, who married Janette White at St James Paddington, on September 21st 1852.
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