Recorded in many spelling forms including: Sanson, Sansom, Sansun, Sinson, Sampson and Sansome, this interesting name is English, but of French origins, of which it has at least three. The first is from the biblical name "Samson", itself derived from the Hebrew "Shimshon", and a diminutive of "shemesh", meaning sun. Among early Christians "Samson" was given as a personal name, in honour of the popular 6th Century Welsh bishop called "Samson". He, it is said, travelled to Brittany in the 9th century, and founded the abbey of Dol where he was later buried, and venerated as a saint. His name was "introduced" into England, and particulary Cornwall, where it remained as a given name until recent tiumes, but also into Yorkshire, by Breton followers of William, The Conqueror, after 1066. The 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", and again a name introduced into England by followers of William 1st, duke of Normandy. 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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