Cultural Heritage

Both the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible cultural attributes of our families constitute what is commonly referred to as our family heritage. Historical records show that the individual family experiences of the Sambell/s clan during the past 1000 years has been quite diverse. Nevertheless, medieval records reveal that we do share a commonality of family tree roots that can clearly identify both our tenth century French and twelfth century English family patriarchs. As this website develops, and more stories and explanations are posted about our common roots, we will likely find that our migrations both within England and overseas were coincident with significant historic events of the day.

Perhaps the oldest physical artifacts representing our ancestral French family were the coins they minted and the armoural banners they displayed as a noble family who administered a grain farming region of St Pol in northeastern France. In medieval England our early family patriarch held honourable title to land that was accompanied by the receipt of a symbolic pair of scissors. As tailor to Henry II, Robert de Sancto Paulo received a pair of scissors that had belonged to the tailor to Henry I. Upon Robert’s death the scissors and title to land in Northamptonshire were inherited by his wife Emma who continued to work as tailor to the king.

The array of inherited objects which families hold may be of considerable value to maintaining our links with our past. As interesting and precious as our own artifacts may be in recalling the stories of our ancestors we also recognize that cultural traditions are equally significant in defining the attributes of our ancestral families and collective kinship.

Our heritage also extends to the biological inheritance of our physical characteristics. Fortunately today this type of heritage can be scientifically investigated through DNA testing, a project that I hope we can pursue in earnest through this website.

This heritage section offers explanations on a variety of topics such as Sambell/s surname origins; heraldic symbols and armorial bearings; and our common Cornish roots. Future pages will be added to include our English Plantagenet roots, our French St Pol roots and proving kinship through DNA.


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