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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Smallshaw family come from? What is the Scottish Smallshaw family crest and coat of arms? When did the Smallshaw family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Smallshaw family history?

Originally, Smallshaw was a nickname for a person who was small in stature. Smallshaw is a nickname surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. The surname Smallshaw derived from the Old English word smal, which means narrow, thin, or small, and referred to a person who was of slender build, or of small stature. This surname was established in Renfrew (now part of the Strathclyde region), prior to the Norman invasion of England, in 1066.

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Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Smallshaw has appeared in various documents spelled Small, Smalle, Smal and others.

First found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Frił), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where Richard Small was the Canon of Glasgow in 1329.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smallshaw research. Another 191 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1329, 1326, 1407, 1447, 1503, 1625, 1714 and are included under the topic Early Smallshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 85 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smallshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Smallshaw family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Smallshaw, or a variant listed above: Edward and Francis Small, who settled in Maine in 1620; the same year as the "Mayflower"; Elizabeth Small, who settled in Virginia in 1639; Henry Small, who settled in Virginia in 1636.

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  • Steve Smallshaw, American journalist


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ratione non ira
Motto Translation: By reason, not by rage.

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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  10. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  11. ...

The Smallshaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Smallshaw Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 September 2013 at 14:46.

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