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Smelley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The western seacoast of Scotland and the rugged Hebrides islands made up the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada, the ancestral home of the Smelley family. Smelley is a name for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smelley 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 Smelley comes from the Old English word, smile, which means grin. Therefore, the surname Smelley would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.

Early Origins of the Smelley family


The surname Smelley 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.

Early History of the Smelley family


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

Smelley Spelling Variations


Historical recordings of the name Smelley include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.

Early Notables of the Smelley family (pre 1700)


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

Migration of the Smelley family to Ireland


Some of the Smelley 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.

Migration of the Smelley family to the New World and Oceana


Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Smelleys to arrive in North America: 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 Smelley (post 1700)


  • Christopher Smelley (b. 1986), American football and baseball player
  • Brad Smelley (b. 1989), American NFL football tight end for the St. Louis Rams

The Smelley 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.


Smelley Family Crest Products



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