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The name Smelay is an age-old Dalriadan-Scottish nickname for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smelay is thus, 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 Smelay comes from the Old English word, smile, which means grin. Therefore, the surname Smelay would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.

Early Origins of the Smelay family


The surname Smelay was first found in Cumberland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times as Lords of the manor, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

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Early History of the Smelay family

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Early History of the Smelay family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smelay research.
Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1774, 1795, 1787, 1697, 1763, 1740, 1795, 1630, 1670, 1660, 1689, 1968 and are included under the topic Early Smelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Smelay Spelling Variations

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Smelay Spelling Variations


The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years Smelay has appeared as Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.

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Early Notables of the Smelay family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Smelay family (pre 1700)


Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Smelay family to Ireland

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Migration of the Smelay family to Ireland


Some of the Smelay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 313 words (22 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Smelay family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Smelay family to the New World and Oceana


Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Smelay or a variant listed above: John and Jane Smiley who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1763 with their children Margaret and Robert; William Smilie settled in Charles Town in 1756.

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The Smelay Motto

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The Smelay 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: Industria virtus et fortitudo
Motto Translation: Industry, valor, and fortitude.


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Smelay Family Crest Products

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Smelay Family Crest Products



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See Also

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