Sein History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Boernician clans of the Scottish-English border region were home to the ancestors of the Sein family. Their name is derived from the Medieval given name Sim which was derived from Simon, but denoted son of Simon. [1]

Early Origins of the Sein family

The surname Sein was first found in East Lothian, where the name is a diminutive of Symon and Simeon.

In "Symmie and his Bruder," a satire in the vein of Peblis to the play, we have mention of "Bayth Sym and his bruder," and "Nowthir Syme nor his bruder." [2]

Moreover, "Sim is not always representative of Clan Moc-Shimidh as some think-it is a common English name as well." [2]

Early records of the name in Scotland include: "Sym Clerk [who] witnessed an instrument of resignation in 1446, John Sym de Banchry, recorded in 1503, Andrew Sym, vicar of Cumry (Comrie) in 1530 and William Sym [who] witnessed a precept of clare constat of 1548. William Sym in Nether Possill is recorded in 1596." [2]

At about this time, we also found records in England, specifically Thomas Symme, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. Christopher Sims, Berkshire appears in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1504; and Ellen Simms, of Warrington is listed in the Wills of Chester in 1593. [1]

Early History of the Sein family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sein research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1503, 1530, 1596, 1755, 1831, 1793, 1794, 1753, 1809, 1753, 1787, 1791, 1793, 1800, 1774, 1845, 1808, 1795, 1861, 1799, 1870, 1799, 1843, 1889, 1859, 1867, 1866 and are included under the topic Early Sein History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sein Spelling Variations

In the many years before the invention of the printing press and the first dictionaries, names and other words were spelled according to sound, often differently with each person who wrote them. Spelling variations of Sein include Simms, Symes, Sime, Simes, Sim, Sym, Syms, Syme and others.

Early Notables of the Sein family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was John Syme (1755-1831), nicknamed "Stamp-Office Johnny," a close friend of Robert Burns'. In the summers of 1793 and 1794, he joined Burns on his two short tours of Galloway. He and Alexander Cunningham were amongst the most active of the friends and admirers of Burns's works who raised funds for the poet's family. Together with Dr Willam Maxwell he arranged Burns's funeral. [3] Michael Symes (1753?-1809), was a British soldier and diplomatist, born about 1753, entered the army about 1787, and went to India in the following year with the newly raised...
Another 249 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sein Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sein family to Ireland

Some of the Sein family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sein migration to the United States +

In many cases, the ancestors of many of these Boernician-Scottish people are just now learning of their Scottish heritage. Since the trip was so arduous, and many were fleeing from poverty itself, settlers brought little with them and often had nothing of their personal history to hand down to their children. Clan societies and highland games have helped to correct this problem in the 20th century. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Seins to arrive on North American shores:

Sein Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Sein, who arrived in New York in 1709-1710 [4]
  • Johann Peter Sein, who arrived in New York, NY in 1710 [4]
  • Johannes Peter Sein, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [4]
Sein Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J Sein, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • Jose Antonio Sein, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1881 [4]


The Sein Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortuna et labore
Motto Translation: By fortune and labor.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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