Simes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Simes is an age-old Boernician-Scottish name whose roots are found in the Scottish/English Borderlands of the medieval era. It is derived from the Medieval given name Sim which was derived from Simon, but denoted son of Simon. [1]

Early Origins of the Simes family

The surname Simes 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 Simes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Simes 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 Simes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Simes Spelling Variations

A lack of rules and the tendency of scribes to spell according to the sound of the word plagued medieval spelling. Not surprisingly, an enormous number of spelling variations appeared. Simes has been written Simms, Symes, Sime, Simes, Sim, Sym, Syms, Syme and others.

Early Notables of the Simes 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 Simes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Simes family to Ireland

Some of the Simes 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 Simes migration to the United States +

Many Scots crossed the Atlantic for North America hoping to escape poverty, as well as persecution. Much of their heritage was lost along the way and overtime. This century, however, Clan societies and highland games have allowed many ancestral Scots to recover their birthright. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Simes arrived in North America very early:

Simes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Beniamine Simes, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625 [4]
  • Sarra Simes, aged 30, who arrived in America in 1635 [4]
  • Symon Simes, aged 15, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Robert Simes, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [4]

Canada Simes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Simes Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Robert Simes, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Simes migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Simes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Simes, English convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" in May 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Simes, English convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Canton" on 20th September 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Francis Simes, (b. 1818), aged 22, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "Lord Western" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 3rd October 1840 [7]
  • Mr. Francis Simes, (b. 1818), aged 22, English farm servant, from Ware, Hertfordshire, England, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lord Weston" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 3rd October 1840 [8]


The Simes 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canton
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_bounty_nsw.pdf


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