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Seymour in Dorset

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Introduction

This page is devoted to the SEYMOUR ancestors of my mother - the origins of the name, who they were and where and when they lived.

The genealogical data in these pages is accurate to the best of my current (at the time of writing) knowledge. This means it is of very variable reliability, since sources at one extreme are 100% certain (e.g. I know who I married, where and when, and the identity of my parents) to the mere rumour level, such as LDS data extracted from the IGI and Ancestral File, and reminiscences of elderly relatives, some now deceased. Anyone wishing to make any use whatever of this information is therefore strongly advised to contact me for source details.

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Origins of the name

According to Hanks & Hodges the surname Seymour has two quite different sources. One is the French family St. Maur, who lived either in St. Maur des Fossées, near Paris, or St.Maur sur Loire, at least one member of whom came over in 1066 with Wiliam the Conqueror and another landed in Monmouthshire in the 13th century. The other source is from an English place name, of which there are no less than four possibilities, two instances of Seamer in north Yorkshire and one of Semer in each of Norfolk, Suffolk and north Yorkshire. Which of these was applicable to my ancestors I have no idea as yet.

However, I am informed by Joe A A Silmon-Monerri, who has researched the origins in considerable depth, this account is quite wrong. He tells me that there are two main families in Britain, who are not related to each other, but who, by coincidence, produced knights whose 'place-name of origin' (not a surname as such) was based on the name of the same saint - 'Maurus'.

The name of the 'de Sancto Mauro' knights who were already a baronial family, from Lower Normandy, and whose representing knight Guido de Sancto Mauro did fight at Hastings and was the Seigneur de Saint-Maur (as listed in the Battle Abbey Roll), were named after Saint Maurus of Norcia (near Rome), Benedict's right-hand man in France. These 'de Sancto Mauros' are actually Normans, extremely prominent from 'day-1' of the Conquest, and are the later 'Seymours' who appeared frequently in the many rolls (Pipe/Callendar/Fine/Gascon, etc.). They were always close to the monarch or regent of the time, members of the Royal courts of Clarendon, Westminster, etc. However, they are not related to, nor are even a branch of, the Seymours from whose line Queen Jane Seymour descended. Her line was that of the Seymours of Wolf Hall, Wardens of Savernake Forest, Wilts.

Jane Seymour, sister of the 1st. Duke of Somerset of this creation, and of the Lord High Admiral of England, Thomas Seymour of Sudely, was from the line that started 'officially' at Penhow Castle, Monmouthshire -as you rightly state in the 13th century (Roger de Sancto Mauro - of different family origins, possibly Angevine, not Norman) was a descendant of a knight who was the first 'Seymour' resident of a castle in Britain (Penhow Castle near Chepstow, Mon.) which he was occupying - allegedly since 1129

[The emphasised words are Mr.Silmon-Monerri's copyright and are three separate extracts from the detailed information he kindly sent me.]

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Variants of the name

Seymer, Seymore, Seymoure.

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Hannah Seymour

Hannah SEYMOUR married John LACY at Tarrant Crawford parish church, Dorset, on 26th December 1787. The couple had at least three children, who were all baptised at Tarrant Crawford, Ann on 9th June 1788, Solomon on 4th January 1790 and James on 26th February 1792. They seem to have been an unhealthy family, since Hannah died in 1793, and was buried at Tarrant Crawford church on 19th May 1793. Little James was buried there on 28th March 1794 and John, Hannah's husband, on 16th November 1796, leaving only the two older children Solomon and Ann. Ann was my maternal grandmother's paternal grandmother's mother.

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Acknowledgements

Family History Monthly, issue 6, March 1996.
Hanks & Hodges: A Dictionary of Surnames (Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
Joe A A Silmon-Monerri: The Origins of the Seymours in Pre- and Post-Conquest France and Britain

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