This is an English surname, but of biblical origins. Introduced into Europe by returning crusader knights from the Holy Land, and now recorded in several forms as shown below, it is a medieval patronymic of the personal name "Simon". This itself is from a Hebrew word meaning "listening", to which has been added various diminutives such as kiss, kin, ken, and king all meaning little or son of, plus sometimes another "s", being a short form of "son of". In effect the name means "The son of the son of Simon". The name is first recorded towards the end of the 12th century, and was chiefly found in the West Midlands of England. In the modern idiom, the name has no less than twelve spelling variations including Simkin, Simkins, Simkiss, Simkings, Semken, Simpkin and others. The intrusive "p" where it occurs is a dialectal addition, introduced to make for easier pronunciation at a time when French, the official language of England from the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, was being replaced by Middle English . Examples of recordings include Mary Simpkins christened at Hurst Berkshire on May 2nd 1762, whilst James Simpkiss was christened at Hungerford, Berkshire on May 26th 1685. Nathaniell Simkins, aged 26, was one of the first colonists in the West Indie. He travelled to St. Christopher in the Barbados aboard the ship "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, in the tax rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King John known, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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