This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and ultimately derives from the Hebrew personal name "Shimeon", one who harkens. In English versions of the Old Testament the name appears both as "Shimeon" and "Simon", but in the New Testament it generally takes the form of Simon, partly as a result of association with the pre-existing Greek byname "Simon", from "simos", snub-nosed. Simon became a popular name, no doubt because of its associations with the apostle Simon Peter, the brother of Andrew. Simon Magus, also mentioned in the New Testament, tried to buy the power of working miracles; hence the word "simony" for attempting to obtain a position in the Church by bribery. The first recording of Simon (without surname) in England is in the 1134 Records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk. The surname first appears in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and can also be found as Symon, Simeon, Simion and Simmen. William Simon is noted in the 1291 Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London, and John Simon is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1296). Hester Simon is recorded as living in the town of St. Michael's, in the Barbados, with her five children, in 1680; she was one of the earliest settlers in the New World. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a shield divided per fess black and gold, a pale counterchanged and three gold trefoils slipped, the Crest being the stump of a tree eradicated proper two gold laurel branches crossing in saltire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Simond, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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