The rich and ancient history of the Sapp family
name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It comes from Sabinus and
Sabine; these are the masculine and feminine
the name, respectively. The personal name is
derived from the Sabines, a people who lived in
Appenines northwest of Rome. By the third
century BC the Sabines had become fully
were three saints named Sabinus and one named
Sabine. Patronymic surnames arose out of the
vernacular and religious given name traditions.
In the religious naming tradition, which was
developed later than the vernacular tradition,
surnames were bestowed in honor of religious
or church officials. In Europe, the Christian
Church was one of the most powerful influences
formation of given names. Personal names derived
from the names of saints, apostles, biblical
figures, and missionaries are widespread in most
European countries. In the Middle Ages, they
became increasingly popular because people believed
that the souls of the deceased continued to be
in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be
protected by the saint. In England, the feminine
form of the name is predominant.
Spelling variations include: Sabine, Sabbe,
Sabin, Sabyn, Sabben, Saban and many more.
First found in Norfolk where they were seated
from early times and their first records
the early census rolls taken by the early Kings
of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of
Some of the first settlers of this name or some
of its variants were: Robert Sabin settled in
Virginia in 1623; Susan and Thomas Sabin settled
in Virginia in 1648; Thomas Sabin settled in
Antigua in 1774; William Sabin settled in Boston
Mass. in 1630.
The Sapp Surname
According to the "New Dictionary of American
Names" by E. C. Smith, the Sapp name is German
origin and means "descendant of Sabbe, a short
form of names beginning with Sache - legal
Names are usually of patron origin and are
derived from the first name of a father. In this
instance, the name is traceable to the old
Germanic personal name Sabbe, the letters "B"
being interchangeable in German. The surname
came to denote a son of Sabbe. This personal
literally translated from German as legal
adviser and an early bearer of this name may
have been a
magistrate or Sheriff.
Some descendants say that the family, originally
in Germany, left Germany for Holland, and left
Holland for different parts of the United
Kingdom (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland,
England). This premise is in keeping with every
tradition passed down by the various lines.
Early Sapps in America
A history of the Sapp family, published in 1910
by J. Gooden Sapp and H.W. Stanley asserted John
Sapp was brought to America by Lord Calvert in
the second or third load of immigrants in 1650
settled in Maryland. John had three sons:
Frederick who went to New York.; William who
went down the
Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans; and John who remained in Maryland. Grants have been
found in Kent Co., Delaware for Henry Sapp in
1733-43; John Sapp in 1739-58.
Bibb and Twiggs Cos., Georgia
The earliest Sapp in the line was Henry Sapp,
who was born about 1746 and served in the
Revolutionary War [1,2]. The Sapps were closely
allied with the Spears family. Sarah Spears, who
administered the estate of her husband Archibald
Spears in Twiggs County, Georgia about 1812, was
listed in the 1818 Tax Digest of Twiggs Co.
directly after Henry Sapp. Presumably Archibald
Sarah Spears were the parents of Archibald C.
Spears, Sr, who married Elizabeth Remillicent
Henry Sapp's daughter.
Archibald and Elizabeth's children were as
* Eliza Spears, born September 27, 1797 in
Georgia, married John Hathorn Powell, Jr., and
January 17, 1884 in Alvarado, Johnson Co., Texas
* Henry William Spears, born January 07, 1801 in
Georgia, married Betsy Barnes, and lived out
his life in Stewart and Webster Cos., Georgia
* Patience Spears, born about 1804, married Ben
Barnes, Sr., and died about 1841
* Archibald C. Spears, Jr., born about 1807 in
Georgia, married Elizabeth (Betsy) Nelson, lived
in Stewart Co., Georgia, then Jones Co.,
Mississisppi, and died at Alvarado, Johnson Co.,
Betsy was the daughter of Alexander Nelson
formerly of Twiggs Co.. Archibald and Betsy lost
sons in the Civil War.