Symonds History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. 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 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 Symonds family

The surname Symonds 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 Symonds family

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

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

Ireland Migration of the Symonds family to Ireland

Some of the Symonds 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 Symonds migration to the United States +

An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Symonds:

Symonds Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Symonds, who landed in New England in 1631 [2]
  • Francs Symonds, aged 21, who landed in Barbados in 1634 [2]
  • Oliver, Sarah, Dorothy, Francis, James, and Joe Symonds, who all, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothy Symonds, aged 40, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [2]
  • Jo Symonds, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Symonds migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Symonds Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Josiah Symonds, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Symonds migration to Australia +

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

Symonds Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Bessie Symonds, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836 [3]
  • Richard Gilbert Symonds a surveyor, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836 [4]
  • Mr. William Symonds (Symons), (b. 1825), aged 19 born in Bodmin, Cornwall, UK convicted in Devon on 14th October 1844, sentenced for 10 years for housebreaking, transported aboard the ship "Joseph Somes" in 1846 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [5]
  • Thomas Symonds, aged 23, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" [6]
  • Frances Symonds, aged 17, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Marion" [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Symonds 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:

Symonds Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W C Symonds, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1836
  • J J Symonds, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • W C Symonds, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Symonds, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • Lieut. Symonds, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Berhampore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th June 1849 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Symonds (post 1700) +

  • Craig Lee Symonds (b. 1946), American historian, Distinguished Visiting Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History (2017-2019)
  • Alan Symonds (1946-2006), American theater director, Technical Director of the Harvard College Theaters
  • Thomas Symonds (1731-1793), British naval captain from Horringeth Suffolk in the American Revolutionary War, father of William Symonds, Surveyor of the Navy
  • James Symonds, American rear-admiral in the US Navy, former Commanding Officer of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
  • Robert Symonds (1926-2007), American stage actor and associate director of the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center (1965-1972)
  • Air Vice Marshal Sir Charles Putnam Symonds KBE, CB (b. 1890), English neurologist and a senior medical officer in the Royal Air Force
  • William Samuel Symonds (1818-1887), English geologist and author, born at Hereford, the eldest child of William Symonds of Elsdon, Herefordshire, a member of an old west-country family
  • Benjamin Parsons Symonds (1785-1878), Warden of Wadham College, son of John Symons of Cheddar in Somerset
  • John Symonds (1729-1807), English professor of modern history at Cambridge, born at Horningsheath in Suffolk, the eldest son of John Symonds (d. 1757), rector of Horningsheath
  • Sir William Symonds CB FRS (1782-1856), English Surveyor of the Royal Navy (1832-1847) from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • ... (Another 17 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William James Symonds, British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [9]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Henry G. Symonds, British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [10]


  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AFRICAINE 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Africaine.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Cygnet arrived Holdfast Bay, Adealide Sept. 11, 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Cygnet.htm
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SamuelBoddington.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MARION 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Marion.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  10. ^ 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


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