An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The notable Simmonds family arose among the Cornish People, a race with a rich Celtic heritage and an indomitable fighting spirit who inhabited the southwest of England. 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. As the population of medieval Europe multiplied, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. 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 is due to the greater influence of English bureaucracy and naming practices in Cornwall at the time that surnames first arose. 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.
The surname Simmonds was first found in Devon and in Cornwall, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.
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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Simmonds 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 Simmonds History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 161 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Simmonds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Simmonds 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.
A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Simmonds:
Simmonds Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Simmonds Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Simmonds Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Simmonds Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Simmonds Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Simmonds Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Simmonds Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Simmonds 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 4 January 2016 at 17:20.