This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is one of the many patronymic forms of the surname "Simon", itself created from the personal name, which ultimately derives from the Hebrew "Shimeon", one who harkens. In English versions of the Old Testament the name appears both as "Shimeon" and "Simeon", 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. There are many variant spellings of the surname, ranging from Simmonds, Simmons, Simmans and Simmens to Symons and Symonds. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Hugh Symmons and Margaret Hamson on September 3rd 1587, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and the marriage of Henry Symmons and Jane Deane on July 20th 1635, at St. Giles' Cripplegate. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a shield divided per fess silver and black with three trefoils counterchanged. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margery Simondes, which was dated 1308, in documents published in "Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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