Found recorded in the usual spellings of Sumpter and Sunter, the latter being the dialectal form, this ancient surname is occupational. It describes a driver of a 'pack horse train', and as such is an anglicised development of the Olde French 'sommetier', a word introduced by the Norman Invaders after the 1066 invasion. There are a wide range of early surname recordings from different parts of England, showing the initial importance of the name holders in the country's economy. These recordings include William Le Summeter in the Assize Rolls of Gloucester for the year 1221, and William Sompter and Allan Sumpter in the 1301 of Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. Later recordings are those of Robbert Sunter, son of William and Dorothea Sunter, christened at St Andrews, Holborn, London, on October 16th 1631, and Ann Sunter, who married Peter Gray at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on February 1st 1789. The coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field, a black chevron, between three triple towered towers, in red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Le Summeter, which was dated 1206, the Curia Regis rolls for the county of Berkshire, during the reign of King John, known by the nickname of 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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