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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Dutch, English, German, Irish, Scottish

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

Smith is an Anglo-Saxon name. The name was originally given to a metalworker (the blacksmith). It is derived from the Old English word smid, probably derived form "smitan," which meant "to strike with a hammer." As metal worker was such a common and important profession in Medieval times, this name and its cognates are extremely widespread throughout the British Isles and Europe. However, there is some debate as to why the occupation of blacksmith would lead to such a populous surname. One might expect that Farmer, also an occupational name, but with far more people involved in the profession in the Middle Ages, would today be a much more populous surname than Smith. It is probably a futile exercise to try to establish a single source for this amazing, monumentally prolific surname.

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One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Smith has appeared include Smith, Smyth, Smythe and others.

First found in Durham, in present day Northumbria (North-Eastern England) where an Olde English version of the name is cited in circa 975, almost 100 years before the Normans would invade this part of England.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smith research. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1279, 1568, 1655, 1559, 1608, 1657, 1640, 1644, 1663, 1631, 1649, 1650, 1652, 1653, 1658, 1616, 1617, 1675, 1621, 1681, 1661, 1679, 1679, 1611, 1691, 1616, 1696, 1662, 1717, 1701, 1665, 1720, 1699 and are included under the topic Early Smith History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 405 words(29 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Smith family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 163 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Smith arrived in North America very early:

Smith Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Osmond Smith, who arrived in Virginia in 1620
  • Austen Smith, who landed in Virginia in 1622-1623
  • Austin Smith, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Osborne Smith, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Osten Smith, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624


Smith Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Elinor Smith, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Jno Willm Smith, aged 14, landed in New York in 1711
  • Crispianus Smith, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • Augustine Smith, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Ambrose Joshua Smith, who arrived in Virginia in 1714


Smith Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Charles R Smith, who arrived in New York in 1801
  • Jeremiah Smith, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Jenny Smith, aged 26, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • M E Smith, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Matt Smith, who arrived in America in 1805


Smith Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Joe Smith, who landed in Arkansas in 1904
  • Jens Nissen Smith, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1914
  • Charles Victor Smith, who landed in Alabama in 1918
  • Christian Anholm Smith, who landed in Wisconsin in 1922
  • Agnes Sybil Smith, aged 26, arrived in Colorado in 1948

Smith Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century


  • Peter Smith, who arrived in Newfoundland in 1689

Smith Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Constantine Smith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mark Smith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eliz Smith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Dennis Smith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Brantford Smith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750


Smith Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Jas Smith, who arrived in Canada in 1812
  • Mich Haydon Smith, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Michael Hayden Smith, who arrived in Canada in 1812
  • Neil Smith, who landed in Churchill Factory, Canada in 1813
  • And Smith, who landed in Canada in 1813


Smith Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • Miss M A Smith, who landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1907

Smith Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Smith, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Jarvis Smith, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Smith, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Smith, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • George Smith, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Smith Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Smith landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • William Smith landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • Abram Smith landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • R H Smith landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • C.B. Smith landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840


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  • Howard Kingsbury Smith Jr. (1914-2002), American journalist, radio reporter, television anchorman, political commentator, and film actor
  • Captain (USN) Michael John Smith (1945-1986), American pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger which blew up shortly after launch
  • Stan Smith (b. 1946), American professional tennis player
  • General Walter Bedell Smith (1895-1961), U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1948 and head of CIA from 1950 to 1953
  • Bessie Smith (1894-1937), American blues singer sometimes referred to as "The Empress of the Blues"
  • Clarence "Pinetop" Smith (1904-1929), American influential blues and boogie-woogie piano player
  • William Jay Smith (b. 1918), American appointed the nineteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1968 to 1970
  • Lamont Smith (b. 1973), American gold medalist in the men's 4x400 meter relay at the 1996 Olympic Games
  • Julie Smith (b. 1968), American softball player. She competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta where she received a gold medal with the American team
  • Michele Mary Smith (b. 1967), American softball player and two time Olympic Gold Medalist

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  • Andrew M. and O.S. Smith, Sons of Maine and Nebraska Homesteaders by Claude R. Wiegers.
  • Kinfolk of Henry Smith (1846-1887).
  • Pioneer Heritage: the Smith Family by Marguerite Esther Smith.
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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: Benigno Numine
Motto Translation: By Divine Providence.

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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Smith Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Smith 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 11 April 2015 at 04:54.

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