Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Samford Name
Origins of Samford:
The name Samford reached English shores for the first time with the authors of the Samford family as they shifted following the Norman Invasion of 1066. The Samford family resided in Shropshire, although their name acquired from the Old English and converts directly as sandy ford. Such a name would have shown that the original bearer resided near such a landmark.
More common variations are: Samiford, Samofordu, Samford, Samfrod, Simford, Sumford, Samferd, Sumiford, Summford, Sommeford.
The surname Samford first appeared in Shropshire at Sandford, where Thomas de Saundford, one of the “companions in arms” of William I was given lands, for his support. He showed in the Domesday Book of 1086. “Richard de Sanford seated at Sandford soon after the Invasion, and which has ever since survived their principal seat.” Sandford Hall, near Whitchurch, remaines today. This division house considered to have been built between 1700 and 1750 and at the time of writing is up for sale. Thorpe-Salvin in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to a branch of the family. It previously the property of the Salvin family, and subsequently of the Sandfords, by whom the now ruined Hall constructed about the middle of the 16th century.”
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Samford landed in the United States in the 17th century. Some of the people with the name Samford who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Thomas Samford, who arrived in New England in 1637. William Samford, who landed in Maryland in 1655.
Samford Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Samford blazon are the chevron, mullet and bar wavy. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, sable and argent .
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” . A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires . In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” .
The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, is a typical example of this. For obvious reasons it is associated with both water and the sea . Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well . Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.