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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: occupational name for a summoner, an official who was responsible for ensuring the appearance of witnesses in court, Middle English sumner, sumnor.
  2. William Sumner came to Dorchester, MA, from England in about 1635. His descendants include U.S. Senator Charles Sumner, a major force in the struggle to end slavery, who was born in 1811 in Boston.
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