This is a surname of English, French, Flemish, Dutch, Jewish, Italian, and Scandanavian origins. It is recorded in over forty spelling forms including: Sanson, Sansom, Sansun, Sinson, Sampson, Sansome, Shimson, Sansoni, Samso, with diminutives and patronymics such as Sankin, Sams, Sansonetti (Italian), Samsonsen (Swedish), and Samsonov (Russian), the name almost always derives from the biblical name "Samson", itself from the Hebrew "Shimshon", and a diminutive of "shemesh", meaning sun. Amongst the early Christians the personal name was often given in honour of an early Welsh bishop called "Samson".He, it is said, travelled to Brittany in France, and founded the abbey of Dol where he was later buried, and venerated as a saint. His name was later "reintroduced" into Britain, and particulary Cornwall and Yorkshire, where it remained as a given name until recent times. A second possible origin is as a nickname, given to one who had great strength, or given the robust humour of the medieval period, the reverse! Lastly it may be locational, from any one of the places in Normandy called "Saint-Samson". Early examples of the surname recording include: John Sampson, who married ElizabethClarke, at St Michael's church, Cornhill, in 1550, and John Sansom, who married Elizabeth Belton at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, London, in 1769. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Albert de Samsona. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for Ely, Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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