- This interesting and rare name is of French origin and derives from the Old French "Somier" or "Sommier" meaning "Sumpter", a term, applied both to men and pack horses alike. The name is first recorded in Scotland towards the end of the 12th Century (see below) and today is widespread throughout Scotland in its variant forms: Sym(m)ers, Simmers, Sammars, Somers and Sum(m)ers. In 1327, one William Somyr was granted an annual rent for life by David 11. The name Sumer is first recorded in England at the beginning of the 13th Century (Adam Sumer, Essex 1203) with Somer appearing in the Worcestershire Pipe Rolls, 1275, and Somerys in the 1327, Subsidy Rolls of Somerset. Amongst the Church Recordings in Kent is the christening of Joan Sammar on June 7th 1635 in Hayes, and in Sussex, the christening of William Sammars on June 17th 1744 at Upmarden. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Sumer, which was dated circa 1180, witnessed a grant to Soltre Hospital, recorded in the "Charters of the Hospital of Soltre, Edinburgh", during the reign of King William, known as "The Lion of Scotland", 1165 - 1214. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.