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Smele History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Smele family

The surname Smele was first found in Cumberland, a historic county of North West England, now known as Cumbria.

Early History of the Smele family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smele research.
Another 74 words (5 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 Smele History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smele Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Smele has been written as Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.

Early Notables of the Smele family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Smele family to Ireland

Some of the Smele family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 163 words (12 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 Smele 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 Smele 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.

Contemporary Notables of the name Smele (post 1700)

  • William Smele, Head of Publicity

The Smele 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.

Smele Family Crest Products

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