Simon Surname Genealogy

as a surname derived from the Hebrew Shimon which became Simeon in the
Old Testament and Simon in the New (because of its
association with the Greek byname Simos meaning “snub-nosed”). The name spread throughout Europe in the
Middle Ages,
mainly because of the association with the apostle Simon Peter.
Simon has many spelling variants.
It is also a popular Jewish name.
In England, the name took the patronymic form with the addition of “s”
(son of). So Simons and Simmons emerged there.

Simon Resources on

Simon Ancestry

Simon is a European name. Close to 200,000 bear that name
today. The following are the main numbers estimated by country:

  • in France, 75,000
  • in Belgium, 5,000
  • in Germany, 60,000
  • in Hungary, 25,000
  • and in Spain, 30,000.

France leads the way.
However, the
largest number of emigrants in the past
have come from
German-speaking lands, particularly to America. This reflects in
large part Jewish emigration.

England. Louis Simon, a hatter, arrived from France in
the 1770’s, married an Englishwoman, and settled in London. His son
Michael Simon
became a stockbroker, moved to Blackheath, and
was the father of fourteen children through
his two marriages. The sixth of them,
John, made his mark as a doctor and surgeon and served as the country’s
Medical Officer for twenty years from 1855.

Henry Simon came to
Manchester from Germany in 1860 with hardly a penny to his name. But he had had a strong engineering
background and within seven years he had established his own consulting
engineering practice. He was soon to set
in motion “the rollermilling revolution” to mechanize the milling of
flour in
England. His second son Ernest carried
on his work, became a Manchester dignitary, and was made the
first baron
of Wythenshawe.

Simon came from a Russian-Jewish merchant family
in China. He left for Britain in
the 1920’s. He became an expert in the
card-game of bridge, co-founding the Acol system of

America. The
Simon name
came with early Rhineland refugees to America. Johann
Wilhelm Simon arrived with his family in 1709
and eventually
settled in Dutchess county, New York.
However, much of his family later changed the name to the
English-sounding Simmons.

mid-19th century saw Simon migration from Europe
to America. Two families headed West
after their first landing in New York:

  • August
    Simon left his home in a village
    in Neuchatel, Switzerland in 1849, eventually settling to farm in
    Kansas. His brother Charles followed him
    in 1856. They helped found the community
    of Neuchatel, Kansas.
  • meanwhile
    Simon and his family from Hesse in Germany headed
    further West, reaching
    Portland, Oregon in 1857. His was one of
    the first Jewish families to settle there and his family remained an
    important family
    in the state. Son Joseph was elected to
    the Oregon State Senate and was US Senator for Oregon in 1898.
    Later, Norton
    Simon became rich from his industrial projects and founded the Norton
    Museum in Pasadena, California.

Simon came to America from a small village near Willebadessen in
Germany in
1881. He settled in Baltimore,
Maryland. His descendants hold a reunion
in nearby Patapsco Valley State Park each year. Another
Simon, this time from Bingen on the Rhine in Germany, arrived in 1890
and also
lived in Baltimore. But he moved around
more, first heading West to South Dakota and then returning East to
Pennsylvania. Bernhard had a number of
siblings in Germany who also made it to America.

The later 19th century saw many more Jewish arrivals, from German and
Russian lands, mainly to the New York area. Many must have
struggled in the early years. But many in the next and later
generations have left their mark on American life, notably:

  • in
    the arts – the playwright Neil Simon and the
    singer/songwriter Paul Simon are national treasures. There are also the
    concert pianist Abbey Simon and the singer Carly Simon (daughter of the
    publisher Dick Simon).
  • and
    in real estate – the shopping mall moguls Mel and Herb Simon and Bob
    Simon. the developer of the Reston community in Virginia, have been
    prominent in this regard.

Simon Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Simon Names

Henry Simon was a German-born engineer who revolutionized
Britain’s flour milling industry in the late 19th century.
Dick Simon
the co-founder of the publishing house Simon & Shuster. His daughter is the singer Carly Simon.
and Herb Simon
founded in 1960 what became the largest shopping
mall company
in America, the Simon Property Group.
E Simon
was US Treasury Secretary from 1974 to 1977.  
Neil Simon
is a well-known American
playwright and screenwriter.
is a highly-acclaimed American musician and

Select Simons Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 22,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




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