Smallen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scotland's western coastal mountains and the desolate Hebrides spawned the line of the Smallen family. The name Smallen was originally a nickname for a person who was small in stature. Smallen 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 Smallen 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.

Early Origins of the Smallen family

The surname Smallen 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 Smallen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smallen research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1329, 1326, 1407, 1447, 1503, 1625, 1714 and are included under the topic Early Smallen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smallen Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Smallen has been spelled Small, Smalle, Smal and others.

Early Notables of the Smallen family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smallen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Smallen family to Ireland

Some of the Smallen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Smallen migration to the United States +

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Smallen were among those contributors:

Smallen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Smallen, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1801 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Smallen (post 1700) +

  • Hugh Smallen (1919-1990), American modernist architect from New Canaan, Connecticut, founder of Hugh Smallen & Associates


The Smallen 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.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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