Symmes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Boernicians of the Scottish/English Borderlands spawned the name Symmes. It comes from Simon, and meant son of Simon.

Early Origins of the Symmes family

The surname Symmes was first found in East Lothian, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Symmes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Symmes research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1503, 1530, and 1596 are included under the topic Early Symmes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Symmes Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages simply spelled according to sound. The result is an enormous number of spelling variations among names that evolved in that era. Symmes has been spelled Simms, Symes, Sime, Simes, Sim, Sym, Syms, Syme and others.

Early Notables of the Symmes family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Symmes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Symmes family to Ireland

Some of the Symmes 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 Symmes migration to the United States +

Most of the Boernician-Scottish families who came to North America settled on the eastern seaboard of what would become the United States and Canada. Families who wanted a new order stayed south in the War of Independence, while those who were still loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, the ancestors of these families have gone on to rediscover their heritage through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Symmes or a variant listed above:

Symmes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Zechariah Symmes, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1632 [1]
  • Elizabeth Symmes, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Symmes (post 1700) +

  • Rev. Timothy Symmes (1715-1756), American preacher from Suffolk County, New York, father of the Continental Congress delegate John Cleves Symmes
  • John Cleves Symmes (1742-1814), American delegate to the Continental Congress from New Jersey who later pioneered throughout the Northwest Territory, father-in-law of President William Henry Harrison
  • John Cleves Symmes Jr. (1780-1829), American Army officer, trader, and lecturer from Sussex County, New Jersey, best known for his Hollow Earth Theory in 1818
  • John C. Symmes, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 10½ aerial victories

The Symmes 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. ^ 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) on Facebook
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