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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Simpson came from the baptismal name Simon, which was originally derived from the Hebrew word Shimeon meaning obedience. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

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The surname Simpson was first found in Buckinghamshire where Simpson was listed in the Domesday Book as Sevinstone or Siwinestone, lands held by the Bishop of Countances. The place literally meant "farmstead of a man called Sigewine" derived from the Old Scandinavian personal name + tun. [1] At the time, the land consisted of 8 hides (each hide would support one household), 3 virgates (three quarters of a hide) and land enough to support 8 ploughs. There were 13 villans (peasants), 2 bordars and 6 slaves [2]. Today Simpson is a village and civil parish in Milton Keynes and had a population of 585 people in the late 1800s. Another source has a different understanding of the name's origin. "The Simpsons of Knaresborough trace their lineage from the time of Edward the Confessor, and from Archill, a Saxon thane, living in that reign of the Conqueror. Among his vast possessions was the manor of Clint in Yorkshire. The name of Simpson was adopted from Symon, son of William de Clynt who was living in the year 1300. " [3]

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Simpson has been recorded under many different variations, including Simpson, Simson, Simsoun, Symson, Symsoun and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Simpson research. Another 341 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1050, 1405, 1500, 1600, 1655, 1602, 1669 and are included under the topic Early Simpson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Simpson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Simpson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Simpson or a variant listed above:

Simpson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert Simpson settled in Salem in 1630
  • Robert Simpson settled in Maryland in 1633
  • Robert Simpson, who landed in Maryland in 1633
  • Robt Simpson, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Jo Simpson, aged 30, landed in America in 1635


Simpson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Simpson, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Rowland Simpson, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Peter Simpson, who landed in New England in 1733
  • Bolton Simpson, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1745
  • Jonathan Simpson, who arrived in America in 1760-1763


Simpson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Patrick Simpson, who landed in North Carolina in 1801
  • Mary Jane Simpson, aged 5, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1805
  • Matt Simpson, aged 30, landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1805
  • Matt, Simpson Jr., aged 3, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1805
  • Hugh Simpson, who arrived in South Carolina in 1806


Simpson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Donald Simpson, who arrived in Colorado in 1907

Simpson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Richard Simpson settled in Newfoundland in 1704
  • Jos Simpson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Joshua Simpson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Eliza Simpson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Andrew Simpson settled in Bell Island, Newfoundland, in 1771


Simpson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • A Simpson, aged 24, arrived in Canada in 1811
  • Wm Simpson, who landed in Canada in 1815
  • John Simpson, aged 45, a shoemaker, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1815
  • Margaret Simpson, aged 38, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1815
  • Janet Simpson, aged 13, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1815


Simpson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Henry Simpson, English convict from Derby, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Robert Simpson, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William Simpson, a bricklayer, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • James Simpson, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Charles Simpson, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Simpson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Jas Simpson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant
  • William Simpson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Ritchie Simpson, aged 21, a farm servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • William Simpson, aged 33, a gardener, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Jane Simpson, aged 26, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841


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  • James Shores "Jim" Simpson (1927-2016), American sportscaster, awarded the Sports Lifetime Achievement Award, inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2000
  • Joseph "Red" Simpson (1934-2016), American country singer-songwriter
  • Zadock F. Simpson, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Follansbee, West Virginia, 1918 (acting, 1918)
  • William Walton Simpson (b. 1914), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from District of Columbia, 1968, 1972
  • William T. Simpson, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 12th District, 1914-17, 1920; Member of New York State Senate 6th District, 1921-22; Defeated, 1922
  • William T. Simpson, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1879-81
  • William H. Simpson, American politician, Mayor of Olean, New York, 1915
  • William H. Simpson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maine, 1864
  • William H. Simpson, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 23rd Circuit, 1888-99
  • William G. Simpson, American Republican politician, Candidate for Republican nomination for President, 1916, 1920

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  • The Descendants of Simpson-Roach Families of South Carolina by Max Peery.
  • Look Back with Pride by Dorothea Simpson Meriwether.
  • Simpson, Family of the American Frontier by John Worth Simpson.
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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: Nil desperandum
Motto Translation: Never despairing.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Simpson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Simpson 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 25 May 2016 at 08:23.

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