Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is a surname of Anglo-Norman-Irish origins. Fitz denotes 'son of' and in the early medieval period was added to the personal name Sigmundr of Norse origin, meaning victory. The first records of this name in Ireland are after the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1170. Amongst the families brought from England and Wales to County Down by John de Courcy in 1177 were some called Fitzsimon. Others of the same name followed the Prendergasts to County Mayo early in the next century.The most important line of this family came from Simonshide, given as being in Hertfordshire but probably Durham, and settled in Dublin in 1323. Although the majority of records show the spellings as FitzSimon; FitzSymons, FitzSymonds and FitzSimmons, other spellings are in use including Kimmons and McKeeman. This latter spellling is 17th century and derives from the earlier Mac Shiomoin, a Gaelic spelling of FitzSimon. Irish born Thomas FitzSimmons (1741-1811) was one of the leaders in the War of Independence 1775 - 1781. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Le FizSimond. This was dated 1325, in the writs of Parliament, during the reign of King Edward 11nd of England, 1307-1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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