The Smallan family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides
islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, Smallan evolved as a nickname
for a person who was small in stature. Smallan 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 Smallan 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
, in 1066.
Early Origins of the Smallan family
The surname Smallan was first found in Renfrewshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), 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.
Early History of the Smallan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smallan 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 Smallan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Smallan Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. Smallan has appeared as Small, Smalle, Smal and others.
Early Notables of the Smallan family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smallan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smallan family to Ireland
Some of the Smallan 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 and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smallan family to the New World and Oceana
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence
as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan
societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Smallan 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.
The Smallan Motto
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.