Samson family page
The Samson family in 1894
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Origins of surname
Samson is one of those surnames found with the same spelling in England and France, and Jersey families almost certainly arrived from both directions. The name is found in many European countries, spelt over 40 different ways. The name almost always derives from the biblical name "Samson", which comes from the Hebrew "Shimshon", and a diminutive of "shemesh", meaning sun.
Among early Christians the personal name was often given in honour of an early Welsh bishop called "Samson". He, it is said, travelled to Brittany and founded the abbey of Dol, where he was later buried, and venerated as a saint.
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.
Although it does not make an early appearance in church registers, this name spelt Sampson (1299) and Sansom (1331) is found in other early Jersey documents.
The name Samson first appears in Jersey church registers in 1710, with the marriage of Pierre to Jeanne Amy in St Saviour. Four years later another Pierre (or perhaps the same one) married an unknown Quatherine in the same parish. There is no record of children of either of these marriages, and the first recorded baptism is that of Marie, daughter of Pierre Samson and Marie Chargelique in St Helier in 1745.
Sanson is found earlier. Elizabeth and Marie, the daughters of Pierre and Margueritte Binet, were baptised in St Helier in 1669 and 1673 respectively.
The spelling Sansom does not appear until 1804.
Although all these spellings are accepted variations of Samson, there is no evidence of spelling variations within a particular family as there are with other surnames in Jersey.
- Sampson, 1299
- Sansom, 1331
Great War service
These wills created by members of the Samson family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Agnes Sampson, widow of Isaac des Rieaux 1 July 1742 - D/Y/A/7
- Auguste Samson of Elizabeth Villa, 60 St Saviour's Road, St Helier - 25 June 1896, D/Y/A/55
- James Samson of St Helier - 6 March 1928, D/Y/A/88
- John Samson, St Helier - 28 March 1905, D/Y/A/64
- Alfred Henry Samson was a draper at 20 King Street in the 1910s and '20s
- A P Samson, oil suppliers
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