Welcome to the Lamberson (and variants) One-name Study
Currently I am unaware of this name being used or researched in places other than the United States, but I would welcome participation from other localities if appropriate. Do you know of Lambertsons in the U.K., Australia, Norway, Nederland, Canada, Barbados, Brazil or other places? Please make an account, add your data, link it here, or leave a message for GLamberson for help. However, for now, please assume any general comments herein pertain only to the United States or North America.
Families With Available Data
Timothy Lamberson of Ohio, the Illinois Territory, and northeast Missouri : Timothy Lamberson married Rebecca Ferguson in the Illinois Territory in 1814 and moved to Pike County, Missouri, where he became the founder of a large group of Lambersons who populated northeast Missouri. (The Lambersons of western and southwestern Missouri are generally descendants of another family group for which data will be posted shortly.) This family almost universally spells the name as Lamberson.
These families named Lamberton are noted because of their proximity to some of the Lambertson families, as they sometimes were confused in public records due to the close spelling of their names. These families are both Scottish, hovever, and not among those usually considered Lamberson variants. Surprisingly, the Lambert and Lamberton families have no connection to those using the Lamberson surname and its variants in modern times. That is, there is no known example of the names Lambert and Lamberton being used interchangeably or transitionally with the name Lamberson and its variants. Lamberson is a patronymic name, however, so this rule of thumb is bound to have exceptions should one go far enough back in history that patronymic naming practices were in fact used. We most all likely spring from some fellow named Lambert somewhere, be he Welsh, Norwegian, Hessian, Flemish or what have you.
Gen. James Lambertson, the Scots-Irish Revolutionary War General from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania : Often mixed up in their spelling, James Lamberton was considered a local hero during the Revolution but was not among the Lambersons.
John Lamberton, Scots-Irish of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania : This may have been a close relative of the above Gen. James Lamberton or not, but the family is yet another distinctive family of Cumberland County having origins with the Scottish Lamberton family.
Origins: Evidence, Traditions and Theories
So far, I have seen evidence for persons using the Lamberson surname or one of many variants having origins in Wales, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Norway. (I am probably leaving something out.)
The major families researched so far show strong indication of being from the what is now the U.K. (particularly Wales and England) or the Netherlands.
There is a DNA Study underway which can be viewed here. So far, 5 people have taken part in the study. One person having taken part is a member of the large Maryland family of Lambertsons and Lambersons. Two are from undetermined small groups that cannot yet be tied to a particular group. Two more are from surname variants that are not routinely associated with the other surnames of this project.
Broadly, the small amount of data is already very interesting for the families commonly referred to as Lamberson families or variants thereof. The two with as-yet unidentified Lamberson ancestry past the early nineteenth century both have strong indications of being from the British Isles. One has strong matches to other surnames that are of definite Welsh origin. Perhaps the most surprising result is the one result of the Maryland family. This sole family member's testing indicates a completely different haplogroup for their origins, one of Dutch or German ancestry. Also there are several close matches to families with clearly Germanic ancestry rather than the supposed English heritage that has been believed or assumed.
There is indication of a very small family with Norwegian origins in Washington state. Some other Lambersons have Welsh and Irish traditions. The very large family using the surnames Lamberson, Lomison, Lammasson, Lamason & others who first lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York have a consistent and strong Dutch tradition. There is a strong English tradition among those with ties to the Marylanders. The Lambertons, not usually considered one of the surname variants but often confused with Lambertsons, are quite clearly Scottish.
Another of the traditions that have been passed down involves the seafaring habits of our ancestors. Many, many Lambersons point to their ancestors as having been mariners, sea captains, and the like.
The New Jersey families consistently have a story of Dutch or German brothers or close relatives. There is not a tradition that points to one ancestor being the immigrant for this group. However, as more has been discovered, the families once considered probably separate groups have continued to converge into one mega family to a surprising degree. Perhaps the families of New York, which have largely been neglected in this one-name study of our surname, also share origins with this New Jersey grouping or perhaps they represent one or several other, separate groups.
The Maryland family has cited references to their ancestor Henry Lambertson in the records of Accomack County, Virginia, with George Lambertson, the subject of the Longfellow poem The Phantom Ship. George Lamberton settled in the Boston area but had no known male descendants. The Lamberson families of New Jersey refer to their seafaring ancestors, and the aforementioned George Lambertson, sea captain, is known to have been involved with the founding of Philadelphia. Are these two huge families in fact one, even though their traditions on the surface are different? It is possible that both traditions are right and that these families are closely related. There is still promise in exploring extant records on both families, but DNA testing of any member of the families with New Jersey origins would be very useful at this point.