Sampson was born in Plympton, Massachusetts on August 22, 1781. He was the eldest of nine children born to George Sampson (1755–1826) and Hannah (née Cooper) Sampson (1761–1836), who married in 1780.
His paternal aunt, Hannah Sampson, was married to his maternal uncle, Richard Cooper. His paternal grandfather, and namesake, was Zabdeil Sampson, who died in the Revolutionary War.
Sampson first became involved in politics as a member of the Board of Selectmen for Plymouth. In 1816, he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to succeed Congressman William Baylies and represent Massachusetts’s 8th congressional district in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses and served from March 4, 1817, to July 26, 1820 when he resigned due to his appointment by President James Monroe as Collector of Customs at Plymouth on July 26, 1820, and served until his death. Sampson was a close friend of Daniel Webster.
- Milton Lobdell Sampson (1805–1806), who died in infancy.
- Eudora Rowland Sampson (1807–1852), who married Francis Alden.
- Algernon Sidney Sampson (1809–1815), who died as a child.
- Marcia Lobdell Sampson (1811–1859), who married John Hayden Coggeshall. After his death, she married Dr. John Hornby.
- Maria Louisa Sampson (b. 1813), who married Daniel Ricketson in 1834.
- Algernon Sidney Sampson (1815–1849), who married Adeline Lombard.
- Ruth Lobdell Sampson (1819–1851), who married Daniel Hathaway.
- Zabdiel Silsbee Sampson (1821–1870)
- Judith Lobdell Sampson (b. 1827), a twin.
- Nancy Ripley Sampson (1827–1854), a twin who married prolific author James Loring Baker (1813–1886).
- “SAMPSON, Zabdiel – Biographical Information”. bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Town), Plympton (Mass (1923). Vital Records of Plympton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850. New England Historic Genealogical Society at the Charge of the Eddy Town-Record Fund. p. 183. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Vinton, John Adams (1864). The Sampson Family: Genealogical Memoirs of the Sampson Family in America, from the Arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 to the Present Time. Henry W. Dutton & Son, distributed by Higginson Genealogical Books. p. 49. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Davis, William Thomas (1885). History of the Town of Plymouth: With a Sketch of the Origin and Growth of Separatism. J.W. Lewis. p. 62. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Kingman, Bradford (1892). Epitaphs from Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, from 1657 to 1892: With Biographical and Historical Notes. New England Illustrated Historical Publishing Company. p. 160. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Essex Institute Historical Collections. Essex Institute Press. 1898. p. 36. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts. John Wilson and Son. 1893. p. 19. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- United States Congress. “Zabdiel Sampson (id: S000026)”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Zabdiel Sampson at Find a Grave
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts’s 8th congressional district
March 4, 1817 – July 26, 1820