Symmons History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The notable Symmons 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 Symmons family

The surname Symmons 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 Symmons family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Symmons 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 Symmons History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Symmons 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 Symmons 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 Symmons Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Symmons family to Ireland

Some of the Symmons 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 Symmons migration to the United States +

An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Symmons:

Symmons Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Symon Symmons, who arrived in Virginia in 1633 [2]
  • Roger Symmons, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [2]
  • Tho Symmons, who landed in Virginia in 1644 [2]
  • Francis Symmons, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [2]
  • John Symmons, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Symmons migration to Australia +

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

Symmons Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alfred Symmons, (Simmons), (b. 1808), aged 22, Welsh groom who was convicted in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales, he died in 1835 when he was killed [3]
  • Mrs. Jane Symmons, (b. 1822), aged 36, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 11th December 1857 aboard the ship "Sea Park" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 20th March 1858 [4]
  • Mrs. Mary R. Symmons, (b. 1837), aged 21, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 11th December 1857 aboard the ship "Sea Park" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 20th March 1858 [4]
  • Mrs. Sibella Symmons, (b. 1839), aged 19, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 11th December 1857 aboard the ship "Sea Park" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 20th March 1858 [4]

New Zealand Symmons 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:

Symmons Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Grace Symmons, (b. 1825), aged 38, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [5]
  • Miss Emma Symmons, (b. 1842), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [5]
  • Mrs. Sarah Symmons, (b. 1837), aged 27, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 [5]
  • Mr. Henry Symmons, (b. 1842), aged 22, British blacksmith travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas F. Symmons, (b. 1860), aged 4, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Symmons migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Symmons Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Jacob Symmons, aged 28, who landed in Barbados in 1682 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Symmons (post 1700) +

  • Ms. Nicola Kathryn Symmons M.B.E., British Headteacher for Heol Goffa School in Llanelli, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Education [7]
  • Charles Symmons (1749-1826), Welsh man of letters, born at Pembroke, the younger son of John Symmons of Llanstinan, Pembrokeshire, M.P. for Cardigan,_Ceredigion' target='_blank'>Cardigan from March 1746 to 1761


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  7. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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