This is a medieval Scottish locational surname, with a considerable history. Recorded as Symington, Simenton, Semington, Simmington and others, there are two possible places of origin. The first is the parish of Symington in the Kyle district of Ayrshire, whilst the second is Symington in Lanarkshire on the banks of the River Clyde. It is said that the family of Symington who claim the right to the designation of Symington and all that Ilk, are from Upper Ward in Lanarkshire. Originally the family took as their surname the name of the barony of Symundestone from which Symington is a developed form, in the time of King Robert, the Bruce of Scotland, (1306 - 1329). John of Symonton was the deputy sheriff of Lanark in the year 1478, whilst John Symonton was heir to the barony of Symontoun, and also held the office of baillie for the barony of Dowglas in 1612. In the 18th century the nameholders became associated with early steam engine building, William Symington (1749 - 1826) taking out a patent for an improved design. This was ultimately to lead to the construction of the Charlotte Dundas in 1802, the first working steam boat. Unfortunately he was unable to persuade the financiers to support him, and as is often the lot with inventors, he died in poverty, whilst others went on to reap the rewards.
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