- This surname can be either Medieval English or Hebrew, the English form being introduced by the Crusaders in the 12th century, although the Jewish form is much later. The name translates as 'the Name of God' a meaning which no doubt contributed to its early popularity in England. Many such names were 'borrowed' by the Crusaders including Michael, Isaac and John, and all became surnames, and all developed variant forms. In this case Samuale is also recorded as Samwell and the patronymic Samuels, and all were recorded before the 14th century. Examples of early recordings include the singular form as Samuel in the Curia Regis Rolls of Kent in 1198, whilst in 1279 William Samwel is a land owner in the Hundred Rolls of Oxford for 1279. Other examples are those of William Samuel (1520 - 1569) described as a divine in the employ of the Duke of Somerset, Edward Samuel, who published Welsh works and held rectories in Denby and Merioneth, and David Samwell, who accompanied Captain Cook as Surgeons first mate. He died in 1799 in London. The Coat of Arms is a red field, on a cross between, in the 1st and 4th quarters, a lion rampant, and in the 2nd and 3rd an eagle displayed silver, a rose of the field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adolfus Samuel, which was dated 1160, The Danelaw Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The church builder', 1154 - 1189. 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.