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Sapp History

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 forms of  the name, respectively. The personal name is derived from the Sabines, a people who lived in the Appenines northwest of Rome. By the third century BC the Sabines had become fully Romanized. There 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 figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the 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 involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or 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 appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of  their subjects. 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 in origin and means "descendant of Sabbe, a short form of names beginning with Sache - legal action." 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" and "P" being interchangeable in German. The surname came to denote a son of Sabbe. This personal name was 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, Wales, and 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 and 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 and Sarah Spears were the parents of Archibald C. Spears, Sr, who married Elizabeth Remillicent Sapp, Henry Sapp's daughter.

Archibald and Elizabeth's children were as follows:

* Eliza Spears, born September 27, 1797 in Georgia, married John Hathorn Powell, Jr., and died: 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., Texas.
Betsy was the daughter of Alexander Nelson formerly of Twiggs Co.. Archibald and Betsy lost three sons in the Civil War.

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