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Clan Simpson


SIM; SIMPSON: Both forms, and their variants of spelling, are derived from 'Simon', a popular baptismal name among the Normans, who introduced it to Britain. In Scotland, it became popular by the northern migration of Normans who acquired lands in Scotland, firstly in the Borders, and later, as these by their support of the Scottish Crown, were granted lands elsewhere. It is evident, therefore, that Scottish ancestry should not be assumed on the basis of name alone, and evidence, genealogical or geographical, is required to establish such origin. Amongst these Norman migrants were the Lockharts and the Frasers. The former, having acquired lands in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, left their names to two places, both named Symington (Simon's town), and the latter, by a preference for it as a baptismal name, spread its use among their cadet families to the extent that the chief of the Frasers of Lovat is known by his patronymic 'Mac Shimidh' (Son of Simon). Thus, we find phonetic variants such as 'MacKimmie' given as septs of Fraser - particularly in the Gaelic north. In Argyll, a race of MacSimons are traditionally associated with the MacArthurs, a name by which a certain race of Campbells are known. It cannot now be established how this latter strongly Celtic race came to favour a Norman name, unless through faulty interpretation of speech and thence the written record. In Lowland Scotland, Sim, Sime, Syme, Symon, and Sim(p)son became accepted forms, and at one time, a family named 'Symington of that Ilk', who took their name from the Lanarkshire place given above. Among those of the 'kindred of Simon' who have left their mark is Andrew Simpson, the author of a Latin Grammar which became the standard text-book replacing that of Donatus in 1587, - its usage continued until replaced in 1714. Sir George Simpson (1792-1860) became Governor of the Hudsons Bay Company, but to Sir James Y. Simpson, born in Bathgate, Professor of Obstetrics in Edinburgh, we owe gratitude for the advent of painless surgery, brought about by his pioneering use of Chloroform. Those who can show ancestral links to lands influenced by the Frasers should adopt their emblems (Tartans, Crest Badge, etc), as a mark of affiliation.


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