Last name: Simmance
This interesting name is one of the many patronymic (i.e. meaning "son of") forms of the surname "Simon", itself created from the personal name, a common practice in medieval England. The personal name has two sources, the biblical "Simeon", from "Shimon", meaning "hearken", and the pre-existing Greek byname "Simon" from "Simos", meaning "snub-nosed". Both forms were very popular in Europe in the Middle Ages, though "Simon" more so because of the associations with the apostle Simon Peter. There was some confusion in Britain with the Anglo-Scandinavian forms of "Sigmund" and the Norman "Simund". Church recordings include one Baptist Symondes who was christened on April 13th 1548 at St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement Eastcheap, London, Ann, daughter of Ann and Thomas Simmonds was christened on April 27th 1656 at St. Matthew's, Friday Street, London and Charles, son of Theophilas and Elizabeth Simmonds was christened on May 7th 1682 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. One Martin Simmends (aged 28 yrs.), a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Panthea" bound for New York on May 4th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Piz Simon, which was dated circa 1170, in the Danelaw Documents, London, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "the Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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