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The first family to use the name Smellay lived in the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. It was used as a nickname for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smellay 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 Smellay comes from the Old English word, smile, which means grin. Therefore, the surname Smellay would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.

Early Origins of the Smellay family


The surname Smellay 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 Smellay family

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Early History of the Smellay family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smellay 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 Smellay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Smellay Spelling Variations

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Smellay 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. Smellay has been written as Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.

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Early Notables of the Smellay family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Smellay family (pre 1700)


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

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Migration of the Smellay family to Ireland

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Migration of the Smellay family to Ireland


Some of the Smellay 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 Smellay family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Smellay family to the New World and Oceana


Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: 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 Smellay Motto

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The Smellay 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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Smellay Family Crest Products

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Smellay Family Crest Products



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See Also

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