The surname of SYMMES was a baptismal name 'the son of Simon'. This surname was originally derived from the Hebrew personal name SHIMON, and in many vernacular versions of the Old Testament the name is usually rendered as SIMEON. In the New Testament, however, the name is normally rendered as Simon, partly as a result of an association with the Greek byname SIMOS, meaning snub-nosed. The name has spread to England, Italy, Germany, Holland, Czechosovakia and Hungary, and the name has been in use as a given name in Western Europe from the Middle Ages onwards. The name was no doubt popular because of its associations with the apostle Simon Peter, the brother of Andrew. In Britain there was confusion from an early date with the Anglo-Scandinavian form of Sigmund, a name whose popularity was reinforced at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, by the Norman form of Simmund. Simon Magus (Simon the Magician) 1st century, was a Samaritan sorcerer. According to the bible he became a commanding personality in Samaria through his sorceries. He was converted by the preaching of Philip the evangelist, and tried to buy the power of the Holy Spirit from Peter and John (hence the term Simony). Later Christian authors brought him to Rome and made him the author of heresies. 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.
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