In ancient Scotland
, the ancestors of the name Smely lived in the Kingdom of Dalriada. In those days the name Smely was used to indicate a person who for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smely 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 Smely comes from the Old English word, smile,
which means grin.
Therefore, the surname Smely would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.
Early Origins of the Smely family
The surname Smely was first found in Cumberland
, a historic county of North West England
, now known as Cumbria.
Early History of the Smely family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smely research.Another 141 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 Smely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Smely 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 Smely has appeared as Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.
Early Notables of the Smely family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smely family to Ireland
Some of the Smely family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 318 words (23 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 Smely family to the New World and Oceana
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence
, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan
societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Smely or a variant listed above include: 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.
The Smely 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.