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.
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)
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.
these 1277 Simonisses belong to about six different
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.
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