Recorded in many spellings including Simkin, Simkins, Semkin, Simkiss, and Simpkin, this is an English surname. It derives from the personal name "Simon", itself from a Hebrew word meaning listening, and the diminutive "-kin", meaning close relative, plus sometimes the patronymic short form "s" meaning "son of". The name was introduced into England by returning Crusaders from the Holy Land in the 12th century, and repidly gained popularity. Sometimes an intrusive letter such as "p" or "b" appears in the spelling and these were introduced to make for easier pronunciation. Early examples of recordings include those of Mary Simkins, the daughter of Richard and Ann Simkins who was christened at Hurst in Berkshire on May 2nd 1762, while one James Simkins was christened at Hungerford, Berkshire on May 26th 1685. Nathaniell Simkins, aged 26, travelled to St. Christopher in the Barbadoes aboard the "William and John", leaving London in September 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anand Simekin, which was dated 1199, The Suffolk Institute of Archaeology, during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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