This interesting and unusual medieval name is a diminutive form of Simon, the suffix 'ite' denoting 'little' or 'son of'. The name Simon is the Greek substitute for the Hebrew Simeon, originally Schimeon meaning, 'he who hears', although the literal meaning of the Greek word is 'snub nosed'. Both Simon and Simeon were in use as given names from the Middle Ages 12th Century onwards. In Britain there was a confusion from an early date with Anglo-Scandinavian forms of Sigmund a Germanic personal name composed of the elements 'sigi', victory and 'hard', hardy, brave, whose popularity was reinforced of the Conquest (1066) by the Norman form 'Simund'. Amongst the samples of this name and variants is Judith Simmonite was christened on 27th June 1680 at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Symonet, which was dated 1327, Subsidy Rolls, Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward III, 'The Father of the Navy', 1327 - 1377. 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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