The surname of SIMS was a baptismal name 'the son of Simon'. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status Early records of the name mention Ralph Simme who was documented in the year 1317 in County Kent. Robert Symmes of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 and Edward Syms appears in County Lancashire in the year 1400. Later instances of the name mention Christopher Sims who registered at Oxford University in 1594. Louis Baumes married Margaret Sim at St. George's, Hanover Square London in 1800. The name was taken to Scotland by early settlers and Sym Clerk witnessed a charter in 1446. Andrew Sym was the vicar of Comrie in 1530, and Henry Sim was constable in the parish of Auchtramuchtie in 1633. James Syme (1799-1870) the eminent surgeon was born in Fife. The forms Simon and Simeon were in use as given names in Western Europe from the Middle Ages onwards. However the former was more popular, no doubt because of its association with the apostle Simon Peter, the brother of Andrew. In Britain there was confusion from an early date with the Anglo-Scandinavian forms of Sigmund, whose popularity was reinforced at the Conquest of 1066, by the Norman form of Simund. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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