Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides
islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name Smeall evolved there as a nickname
for a person who was small in stature. Smeall 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 Smeall 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 Smeall family
The surname Smeall 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 Smeall family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smeall 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 Smeall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Smeall Spelling Variations
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 Smeall has been spelled Small, Smalle, Smal and others.
Early Notables of the Smeall family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smeall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smeall family to Ireland
Some of the Smeall 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 Smeall family to the New World and Oceana
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 Smeall were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown: 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 Smeall 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.