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

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

While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the ancient Hebrew personal name Shimon, meaning to hearken.

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Symons, Symonds, Symond, Simmins, Simins, Simmonds, Simonds, Simond, Simmons, Simon, Simmon, Simmen, Symon and many more.

First found in Devon and in Cornwall, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Symonds research. Another 225 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1178, 1273, 1379, 1388, 1623, 1665, 1640, 1687, 1617, 1692, 1623, 1665, 1617 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Symonds History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 161 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Symonds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Symonds family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 111 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Symonds:

Symonds Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Symonds, who landed in New England in 1631
  • Francs Symonds, aged 21, landed in Barbados in 1634
  • Oliver, Sarah, Dorothy, Francis, James, and Joe Symonds, who all settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothy Symonds, aged 40, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Symonds, aged 18, landed in Virginia in 1635


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  • James Symonds (b. 1976), rear-admiral in the US Navy
  • Thomas Symonds (d. 1793), British naval captain of the American Revolutionary War
  • Robert Symonds (1926-2007), American actor
  • John Addington Symonds (1840-1893), English author
  • Chas Symonds (b. 1986), English boxer
  • Sir Charles Putnam Symonds (1890-1978), British neurologist
  • Andrew Symonds (b. 1975), Australian cricketer
  • Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Matthew Charles Symonds (1813-1894), British naval commander


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Symonds Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Symonds 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 17 July 2013 at 15:07.

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