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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Fitzsimmons family come from? What is the Irish Fitzsimmons family crest and coat of arms? When did the Fitzsimmons family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Fitzsimmons family history?

Despite the fact that the Irish already had developed a system of hereditary surnames, the Anglo-Norman invaders imported their own naming principles. The Strongbow invasion marked the first introduction of non-Gaelic elements into Ireland. One of the most common types of surnames at this time was the patronymic surname, which was formed from the name of the initial bearer's father. Often, and especially in the case of French names, this was done through the addition of a diminutive suffix to the given name, such as "-ot," "-et," "-un," "-in," or "-el." Occasionally, two suffixes were combined to form a double diminutive, as in the combinations of "-el-in," "-el-ot," "-in-ot," and "-et-in." Another way of forming patronymic names used by the Strongbownians was the use of the prefix "Fitz-," which was derived from the French word "fils," and ultimately from the Latin " filius," both of which mean "son." Although this prefix probably originated in Flanders or Normandy, it is now unknown in France and is found only in Ireland. The surname Fitzsimmons is derived from the personal name Simon. The common Norman form of this name was Simund, which was ultimately derived from the personal name "Shim'on," which is derived from the verb "sham'a," which means to "hearken." The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix "Fitz," which means "son of" in Anglo-French. The Gaelic form of the surname Fitzsimmons is Mac Shiomóin. Variations in the spelling of this surname were extremely common.

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Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Fitzsimmons revealed many spelling variations including Fitzsimmons, FitzSimon, FitzSimons, FitzKimmons, FitzKimmins, FitzSymons, Fitzsimmins, Fitzsymmons, Fitzkimmons, Fitzkimmins, Fitzsimon, Fitzsymons and many more.

First found in County Cavan, where they had been granted lands by the Earl of Pembroke for their assistance in the Anglo/ Norman invasion in 1172. Though Fitzsimmons is an ancient name in Ireland, the surname is actually derived from the Normans and made its way into Ireland by way of England.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitzsimmons research. Another 311 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1200, 1323, 1485, 1496, 1498, and 1505 are included under the topic Early Fitzsimmons History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Fitzsimmons Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Fitzsimmons:

Fitzsimmons Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Fitzsimmons settled in Maryland in 1776

Fitzsimmons Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Ann Fitzsimmons, who landed in America in 1805
  • Eliza Fitzsimmons, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Peter Fitzsimmons, who landed in America in 1805
  • Rich Fitzsimmons, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Wm Fitzsimmons, who landed in America in 1805


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  • Frank Edward Fitzsimmons (1907-1981), American labour union president
  • Casey FitzSimmons (b. 1980), retired American National Football League tight end
  • Frederick Landis "Fat Freddie" Fitzsimmons (1901-1979), American right-handed pitcher, manager and coach
  • Lowell "Cotton" Fitzsimmons (1931-2004), American college and NBA basketball coach
  • James Edward "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons (1874-1966), American thoroughbred racehorse trainer, inductee into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (1958)
  • Greg Fitzsimmons (b. 1966), American stand-up comedian, television writer/producer and radio host
  • Thomas William "Tom" Fitzsimmons (1890-1971), American professional baseball player
  • Roy Fitzsimmons (1916-1945), American Polar Explorer and Geophysicist, eponym of Mount Fitzsimmons, Antarctica
  • William Fitzsimmons (1909-1992), M. P. from Northern Ireland
  • Maureen Fitzsimmons (b. 1920), original name of Maureen O'Hara, Irish film actress and singer

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  • The Fitzsimmons Family by John Phillips.
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  1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  10. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  11. ...

The Fitzsimmons Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fitzsimmons Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 September 2014 at 02:06.

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