Historians have found early records of the Slocomb name in Somerset
where they were seated from very ancient times, possibly from well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of William the
Conqueror 1066 CE.
The name has various spellings including
Slocum, Slowcombe, Slocombe, Slocum, Slocumb. These changes in spelling occur even between father and son. It was not uncommon,
for example, for a person to be born with one spelling variation, married with another, and for yet another to appear on his
gravestone. Scribes spelt the name the way it sounded to them. You'll see the same thing in 19th century US census rolls.
The Slocomb name was found to be descended from the Saxon
race. "Saxons" was a term used by the Romans to descriibe invaders, but probablu covers a variety of Germanic peoples. Generally
the were three groups, the Saxons,mthe Angles and the Jutes. They came from the Rhine Valley and settled first on the south
east coast of England. From there they spread north and west and during the next four hundred years forced the Ancient Britons
back into Wales and Cornwall to the west, Cumbria and Scotland to the north. The Angles held the eastern coastline, the south
folk in Suffolk, the north folk in Norfolk. Under Anglo-Saxon rule the nation was divided into five kingdoms, a high king
being elected as supreme ruler. Alfred the Great emerged in the 9th century as the Saxon leader to dispel the Danish invasion.
By 1066 England was led by Harold, King of the Saxons and enjoyed reasonable peace and prosperity. After the Norman invasion
from France under Duke William of Normandy, and their victory at the Battle of Hastings, the Saxon land owners forfeited their
land. William, with an army of 40,000, drove north, wasting the northern counties. Both rebellious Norman nobles and Saxons
fled over the border into Scotland. many of the Saxons who remained under Norman rule moved northward to the midlands, Lancashire
and Yorkshire where there was less Norman influence.
The family name Slocomb emerged as a notable English family name in the county of Somerset. By the 14th century they had branched
west to Devon, and of this branch Giles Slocum migrated to Rhode Island in 1630, and sired a significant branch of the family
which was to become one of the most distinguished families of the Uneded State. Meanwhile in England the family branched to
other locations particularly in the counties along the south coast.
The next two or three centuries found the Slocombs flourishing and contributing to the culture of the nation. During the 16th,
17th and 18th centuries England was ravaged by religious conflict. Protestantism, the newly found political fervour of Cromwellianism,
and the remnants of the Roman Church rejected all but the most ardent followers. As each group gained power during these turbulent
times many were burnt at the stake but many more were banished from the land, losing their titles, estates and status. Many
families were freely 'encouraged' to migrate to Ireland, or to the 'colonies'. Some were rewarded with grants of lands, others
were indentured as servants for as long as ten years.
These unsettling times were disturbing and the New World beckoned the adventurous. They migrated, some voluntarily, some by
Army or Navy service, but mostly directly from England. Some also moved to the European continent.
Included amongst the first migrants who settled in North America which could be considered a kinsman of the surname Slocomb,
or a variable spelling of that family name was Giles Slocum, already mentioned; Peleg Slocum who settled in west New Jersey
The progeneter of the Slocomb family, Simon
Slocomb is first recorded in the new world in 1705. He is listed with his first wife Abagail Wheetley and children John and
Abagail and his second wife Elizabeth Casheer and their childern Eliza, Mary, Sarah, George, and John in the Boston City records.
This progeneter Simon is not listed in Charles Slocum's book.
During, and after, the American War of Independence many loyalists made their way north to Canada about and became known as
the United Empire Loyalists. John Slocomb (674) moved to Nova Scotia at the out break of the war and settled at Wilmot, Annapolis
The name "Slocomb" and all its variations come from two root words with widely
different histories: " Sloe " and "Combe" loosly meaning 'valley where the sloe plum grows'.
The " Sloe " portion comes from Old English and Middle English. A sloe is a small globose
and pruinose dark colored plum with astringint green flesh that is the fruit of the blackthorn. It is used for preserves and
as a flavoring for liquors. The word itself can be traced back into French and Latin with the modern word 'livid' meaning
"blue " or "black and blue".
The "Combe" portion is of
Celt origin and means a deep narrow valley or a valley on the flank of a hill. The word is akin to the Welch word 'cwm' meaning
valley, the Irish Gaelic word 'cum' meaning vessell and the and Breton word 'komm' meaning trough.
If you watch the BBC show "Are You Being Served?" you'll notice in the credits that the Senior Salesperson in the Ladies Department
spells her name with the "e" on the end of her name. That tends to be a British spelling of the name.
One source I found listed 'Slocomb' as the 42,048th most
popular surname in the United States. 'Slocum' is listed as the 3,256th most popular; 'Slocumb the 17,550th most popular;
while 'Slocombe' is 67,765th most popular.
The most popular
surname in the United States is "Smith"; the next four in descending order are "Johnson", "Williams", "Jones", and "Brown".