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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Symes family come from? What is the Scottish Symes family crest and coat of arms? When did the Symes family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Symes family history?

The roots of the name Symes are in the Boernician clans of ancient Scotland. It is derived from Simon, and meant son of Simon.

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Spelling variations occur frequently in Scottish names that date from the medieval era. They result from a general lack of grammatical rules and the tendency to spell names according to sound. Symes has been spelled Simms, Symes, Sime, Simes, Sim, Sym, Syms, Syme and others.

First found in East Lothian, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Symes research. Another 188 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1503, 1530, and 1596 are included under the topic Early Symes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Symes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Symes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 233 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 20th century, the ancestors of many of those Boernician-Scottish people still populate North America. They distributed themselves on either side of the border at the time of the War of Independence. United Empire Loyalists went north to Canada and those who wanted a new nation stayed south. Both groups went on to found great nations. Some of the first North American settlers with Symes name or one of its variants:

Symes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Margrett Symes, who landed in Virginia in 1625
  • Alexander Symes, aged 19, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Benjamin Symes, aged 42, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Wm Symes, who arrived in Virginia in 1658
  • Ann Symes, who arrived in Maryland in 1664

Symes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thos Symes, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Lancaster Symes, who arrived in New York, NY in 1716
  • George Symes, who arrived in Georgia in 1732
  • William Symes, aged 21, landed in Virginia in 1774

Symes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Symes, who landed in America in 1806
  • John Symes, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860

Symes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Dummett Symes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • Harriet Symes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • Henry Symes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • George Symes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • THomas Henry Symes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839


Symes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Symes landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Alice Symes, aged 19, a nurse, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878

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  • Marty Symes (1904-1953), American lyricist, best known for his "There Is No Greater Love" (1936)
  • George Gifford Symes (1840-1893), American politician, U.S. Representative from Colorado
  • James Miller Symes (1897-1976), American railroad executive
  • Jean Symes (b. 1986), South African-born Scottish left-handed batsman
  • Bob Symes (1924-2015), stage name of Robert Alexander Baron Schutzmann von Schutzmansdorff, Austrian-born, British TV personality, best known for his appearance on the show Tomorrow's World
  • Bradley Thomas "Brad" Symes (b. 1985), Australian rules football midfielder
  • Cyril Symes (b. 1943), former Canadian politician
  • Michael Symes (b. 1983), English footballer
  • John Symes OBE (1879-1944), English gold medalist cricket player
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sir George Stewart Symes GCB, GCMG, DSO (1882-1962), British Army officer, Governor of Tanganyika (1931-1933)

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

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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Symes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Symes 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 20 January 2015 at 11:12.

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