This unusual name is medieval English. It is not occupational as may be thought, but is one of the variant forms of the name Simmons. This itself derives from the surname "Simon", a creation from the popular personal name. This was a common practice in medieval England, with most of the surnames such as Thomson, Johnson, and Peters coming from similar backgrounds. This personal name has two sources. The first is the biblical name "Simeon", meaning "hearken", and second the Greek byname "Simos", meaning "snub-nosed". Both forms were very popular in Europe in the Middle Ages, though "Simon" more so, because of the associations with the apostle Simon Peter. There was some confusion in Britain with the Anglo-Scandinavian personal name forms of "Sigmund" and the later Norman "Simund". Early examples of the surname recording include Robertus Symmes in the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire in 1379, with Johannes Symson appearing in the same rolls. In 1580 Gyles Symons married Frances Masson at St. Andrews by the Wardrobe, in the city of London, whilst another recording from the same register was that of the christening of Henry Summons on July 11th 1650, at the church known as St. John Zachary. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Simon. This was dated 1170, in the Danelaw Documents, for the city of London, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. 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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