Simmons History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The notable Simmons 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.

Early Origins of the Simmons family

The surname Simmons was first found in Devon and in Cornwall, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.

Simeon or Symeon of Durham ( fl. 1130), was an English historian, a monk of Durham, being thirty-eighth on his own list of the monks of that house. Saint Simeon Stock (1165?-1265), was general of the Carmelite friars and is said to have been born in Kent of noble parents about 1165. "From his earliest years he was devoted to religion, and, according to the legend, owed his surname to the fact that from his twelfth year he lived a hermit's life in the trunk or stock of a tree for twenty years. " [1]

Simeon of Warwick (died 1295), was an English historian who became a Benedictine monk at St. Mary's, York, and in 1258 was elected abbot.

Early History of the Simmons family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Simmons research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1178, 1273, 1379, 1388, 1623, 1665, 1640, 1687, 1617, 1692, 1623, 1665, 1617, 1692, 1614, 1624, 1528, 1586, 1487, 1525, 1475, 1487 and are included under the topic Early Simmons History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Simmons Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Simmons family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Symons, M.P. for Helston in 1388; Thomas Simon (c. 1623-1665), English medalist, born in Yorkshire who studied engraving under Nicholas Briot; Samuel Simmons (1640-1687), an English printer, best known as the first publisher of several works by John Milton; Abraham Simon (1617-1692?), an English medalist to the Royal Mint with his brother, Thomas Simon (c. 1623-1665); and Richard Symonds (1617-1692?), an English Royalist and antiquary, best known for his eye-witness diary of the events of the First English Civil War. Sir George Simeon was an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament...
Another 114 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Simmons Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Simmons family to Ireland

Some of the Simmons family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Simmons migration to the United States +

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Simmons:

Simmons Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Moses Simmons, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 [2]
  • Abram Simmons, who arrived in Maryland in 1634
  • Oliver Simmons, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [2]
  • Thomas Simmons, who arrived in Maryland in 1639 [2]
  • Robert Simmons, who arrived in Maryland in 1662 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Simmons Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Balthazer Simmons, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750 [2]
  • Catherin Simmons, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1792 [2]
  • Frederick Simmons, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1792 [2]
  • Melchoir Simmons, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1792 [2]
  • Ludwig Simmons, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1792 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Simmons Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Simmons, who landed in America in 1806 [2]
  • James L Simmons, aged 27, who arrived in Connecticut in 1812 [2]
  • William Simmons, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [2]
  • Francis Simmons, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1825 [2]
  • John, Simmons Jr., who arrived in New York in 1842 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Simmons migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Simmons Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Simmons, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Ms. Esther Simmons U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 107 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [3]
  • Lieut. Henry Simmons U.E. (b. 1740) born in Teerbosch, New York, USA who settled in Ernest Town [Ernestown], Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1784 he served in Jessup's Corps as well as Loyal Rangers, married to Anna Margaretha Bonenstiehl having 7 children [3]
  • Mr. James Simmons U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. John Simmons U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Simmons Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Simmons, aged 20, who arrived in Canada in 1815
  • Mary Simmons, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • Stephen Simmons, who landed in Canada in 1836
  • Isaac Simmons, who landed in Canada in 1841

Australia Simmons migration to Australia +

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

Simmons Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Robert Simmons, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
Simmons Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Simmons, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. John Simmons, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Jeremiah Simmons, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Edward Jeremiah Simmons, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Elizabeth Simmons, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Simmons migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Simmons Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Weston Simmons, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842
  • Miss Fanny Simmons, (b. 1825), aged 28, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [9]
  • Miss Margaret Simmons, (b. 1842), aged 14, British general servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Isabella Hercus" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th January 1856 [9]
  • Charles Simmons, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Ann Simmons, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Simmons (post 1700) +

  • George Finlay Simmons (1925-2019), American mathematician who worked in topology and classical analysis
  • Henry Simmons (b. 1970), American Black Film Festival Award winning actor, known for his roles in NYPD Blue (1993), Another World (1964) and Taxi (2004)
  • Charles Paul Simmons (1924-2017), American editor and novelist
  • Lonnie Alexander "Lon" Simmons (1923-2015), American baseball and football broadcaster, awarded the 2004 Ford C. Frick Award
  • Gene Simmons (b. 1949), born Chaim Weitz, American musician and television celebrity, co-founder of the supergroup, KISS, known for Gene Simmons: Family Jewels (2006), The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)
  • Lili Simmons (b. 1992), American actress, known for Banshee (2013), Geek Charming (2011) and Fat Kid Rules the World (2012)
  • Jonathan Kimble "J.K." Simmons (b. 1955), American Academy Award winning actor, known for his roles in Whiplash (2014), Spider-Man (2002) and The Closer (2005)
  • Roy Franklin Simmons (1956-2014), American football player who played for the National Football League
  • Matthew R. Simmons (1943-2010), chairman and CEO of Simmons & Company International
  • Al Simmons (1902-1956), American baseball player
  • ... (Another 144 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Stephen George Simmons (1959-1979), New Zealander Flight Steward, from Auckland, New Zealand working aboard the Air New Zealand sightseeing Flight 901 when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [10]
Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. George Henry Simmons (b. 1958), American Specialist 4th Class from Wilmington, North Carolina, USA who died in the crash [11]
  • Mr. Carl Nelson Simmons (b. 1965), American Specialist 4th Class from Banks, Alabama, USA who died in the crash [11]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Mary  Simmons (1894-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [12]
  • Mrs. Mary  Simmons (1896-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [12]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Ernest A Simmons (b. 1919), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Southampton, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Oliver Alfred John Simmons (1917-1939), British Joiner 4th Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
  • John Spiller Simmons (1923-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Simmons (d. 1912), aged 39, Third Class passenger who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [15]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Claude W. Simmons Jr., American Seaman First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [16]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1830 with 135 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1830
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  11. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  13. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  14. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  15. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  16. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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