An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, German, Scottish
Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name Small evolved there as a nickname for a person who was small in stature. Small 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 Small 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.
Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Small has been 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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Small 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 Small History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Small Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Small 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.
Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The Small were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:
Small Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Small Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Small Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Small Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Small Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Small Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Small Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
The Small Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Small 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 8 October 2015 at 12:54.