SIMMONS Surname Meaning and Family History

One possible meaning of the Simmons surname is "hearkening" or "listening". JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

The specific etymology of the Simmons surname has been difficult for historians to establish. Several possible origins include:

  1. A patronymic surname derived from the Biblical name Simon or Simund, from the Greek form of the Hebrew name Shim'on which meant "hearkening" or "listening."
  2. A patronymic surname from the personal name Simund, meaning "victorious protector," from the Old Norse sig, meaning "victory," and mundr, or "protection." 
  3. A possible evolution of the name Seaman, meaning "navigator or sailor."

SIMMONS was the 92nd most common American surname in the 1990 U.S. census but had fallen out of the top 100 common U.S. surnames by the time of the 2000 U.S. census.

Surname Origin: English, German and French


Famous People with the Surname SIMMONS

  • Russell Simmons - co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop label, Def Jam
  • Jean Simmons - English actress
  • Richard Simmons - American fitness trainer

Where is the SIMMONS Surname Most Common?

The Simmons surname is most prevalent in the United States, according to surname distribution information from Forebears, where it ranks as the 104th most common last name. It is also somewhat common in England (286th), Australia (342nd) and Wales (377th).

Surname distribution maps from WorldNames PublicProfiler show the Simmons surname is especially common in the American southeast, including the states of South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname SIMMONS

Simmons Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Simmons family crest or coat of arms for the Simmons surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male-line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

More than 300 members have joined this project for the Simmons surname (and variants such as Simons) to work together to find their common heritage through DNA testing and sharing of information.

SIMMONS Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on descendants of Simmons ancestors around the world. Search the forum for posts about your Simmons ancestors, or join the forum and post your own queries. 

FamilySearch - SIMMONS Genealogy
Explore over 8 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Simmons surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

GeneaNet - Simmons Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Simmons surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Simmons Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Simmons surname from the website of Genealogy Today. Simmons Surname
Explore over 6.8 million digitized records and database entries, including census records, passenger lists, military records, land deeds, probates, wills and other records for the Simmons surname on the subscription-based website,


Surname Meanings & Origins
Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "SIMMONS Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). SIMMONS Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "SIMMONS Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).