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

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

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.

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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.

First found in Devon and in Cornwall, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Symonds research. Another 225 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1178, 1273, 1379, 1388, 1623, 1665, 1640, 1687, 1617, 1692, 1623, 1665, 1617 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Symonds History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 161 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Symonds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Symonds family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 111 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • Francs Symonds, aged 21, landed in Barbados in 1634
  • Oliver, Sarah, Dorothy, Francis, James, and Joe Symonds, who all settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothy Symonds, aged 40, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Symonds, aged 18, landed in Virginia in 1635


Symonds Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Josiah Symonds, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Symonds Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Bessie Symonds arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836
  • Richard Gilbert Symonds a surveyor, arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836
  • R. Symonds arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849
  • Mary Symonds arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849
  • Emma Symonds arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849


Symonds Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • W C Symonds landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1836
  • J J Symonds landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Andrew Symonds arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballarat" in 1867
  • Mary J. Symonds, aged 20, a housemaid, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Celestial Queen" in 1872
  • James Symonds, aged 16, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waimea" in 1876


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  • James Symonds (b. 1976), rear-admiral in the US Navy
  • Thomas Symonds (d. 1793), British naval captain of the American Revolutionary War
  • Robert Symonds (1926-2007), American actor
  • John Addington Symonds (1840-1893), English author
  • Chas Symonds (b. 1986), English boxer
  • Sir Charles Putnam Symonds (1890-1978), British neurologist
  • Andrew Symonds (b. 1975), Australian cricketer
  • Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Matthew Charles Symonds (1813-1894), British naval commander
  • Mr. William James Symonds (d. 1941), British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. 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. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Symonds Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Symonds 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 13 November 2014 at 16:22.

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