Simonis Genealogy


The name Simonis ...

...can be found in a lot of different countries. I've already found it in Austria, Belgium, Brasil, France, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, Hungary and Holland. Because I am Dutch (although living in Germany at the moment), the latter is of course the family I am most interested in. But as we are used to in our country, members of the family have spread out all over the world. We now find them in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great-Britain, Spain, the United States of America and in South-Africa.

About the origin of the name Simonis the opinions of the 'scholars' differ.
Some claim that the suffix '-is' means 'son of' (so Simonis
= 'son of Simon'). Because Simon is a biblical name and is used in a lot of countries and languages, there is something to be said for this assertion. Did you know, by the way, that Simon used to be a name given to illegitimate children ?

But others claim that Simonis is simply a 'latinization' of the name Simon. My forefather Matthijs came from the French speaking part of Belgium and probably had the surname Simon, but as he was a chirurgeon and undoubtedly knew something about (dog)Latin, there is something to be said for this too. A lot of people in the 17th century used a 'latinized' version of their original name or profession. In Holland we have examples like Faber (blacksmith), Kuperus (cooper), Mercator (merchant), Nauta (skipper), but also names like Grotius (for the famous author Hugo de Groot) en Tilanus (for Van Tiel)

In Holland the name is much more widespread than most people think. According to the 'Nederlands Repertorium van Familienamen' (Dutch Repertory of Family names) the amount of people with that name in the 1947 census was not less than 1069. In the three northern provinces and in Zeeland it did not occur at all, in North-Holland 130 times (of which 97 times in Amsterdam), in North-Brabant 112 times, in Limburg 116 times and in South-Holland in total 617 times, of which the majority (418) in The Hague.
In 2007 this amount had grown to 1277
(Source: Meertens Instituut)

All these 1277 Simonisses belong to about six different families.

One of them is of course the family of His Eminence Adrianus Cardinal Simonis. His family tree has been published by the late Mrs N.C. Simonis-Taconis from Waalre (Holland). If you belong to that family, I would like to know, so I can strike you off my list of people I still have to contact.


Then there is a family of which the oldest male (Joannes Simonis, who married in 1704) has been found in Heeze (Holland) but whose offspring has 'fanned out' to Delft and later to Rotterdam. I have a large fragment of their family tree and I have also been in contact with some members of that family.


Furthermore I know quite a lot about a Simonis family from Dordrecht, stemming from a Jean François Simonis in Belgium (my ancestors came from Belgium too). Part of that family moved to Ireland and later to the United Kingdom.      


In some Simonis families there was a story about descent from an Italian chimney-sweep. That only goes for a certain family in Utrecht. In 1840 the chimney-sweep/smoke-doctor Rochus (Rocco ?) Simonis married a Dutch girl there. He was born about 1814 in Santa Maria Maggiore in Italy.     


There is also a large group of Simonis people in the Dutch province of Limburg (I know very little about them) and there is a family in Haarlem/Amsterdam that could be very ancient. About 1450 there was a Roman-Catholic priest by that name in Haarlem, but I don't think he had much offspring.

  • But the family I am most interested in is the one stemming from the 'chirurgijn' (chirurgeon) Matthijs Simonis. About that family a book was written in 1993 by the late Dr. A.W.E. Dek: "Bloedverwanten van prins Maurits" ("Blood relatives of prince Maurits")
    ublished by: Zuidhollandse Vereniging voor Genealogie "Ons Voorgeslacht")

  • If you, your parents or your grandparents are in this book, you belong in the family tree I am working on (I myself am in that book on page 299). Then I want to know a great many things about you, because I am trying to get this family as complete as possible.  

    So, if your name is Simonis or you know about a Simonis,
    please send me all the information you have.
    Click on the mailbox and send me an e-mail.


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