Simmons is a patronymic surname created from the first name of the bearers' father, meaning literally "son of Simon." Simon was a popular biblical name and comes ultimately from the ancient Hebrew personal name Shimon, meaning "to hearken."
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Symons, Symonds, Symond, Simmins, Simins, Simmonds, Simonds, Simond, Simmons, Simon, Simmon, Simmen, Symon and many more.
First found in Devonshire and in Cornwall, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.
Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Simmons: Robert and William Simons, who settled in Virginia in 1606, 14 years before the "Mayflower"; Henry Symons, who settled in Boston in 1630; Oliver, Sarah, Dorothy, Francis, James, and Joe Symonds, who all settled in Virginia in 1635.
Some noteworthy people of the name Simmons
* Jean Simmons (b. 1929), English actress.
* Al Simmons (1902-1956), born Aloys Szymanski, a famous Major League baseball outfielder.