Smethie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Smethie has been recorded in British history since the time when the Anglo-Saxons ruled over the region. The name is assumed to have been given to someone who was a metalworker (the blacksmith). It is derived from the Old English word smid, probably derived form "smitan," which meant "to strike with a hammer." As metal worker was such a common and important profession in Medieval times, this name and its cognates are extremely widespread throughout the British Isles and Europe. However, there is some debate as to why the occupation of blacksmith would lead to such a populous surname. One might expect that Farmer, also an occupational name, but with far more people involved in the profession in the Middle Ages, would today be a much more populous surname than Smith. It is probably a futile exercise to try to establish a single source for this amazing, monumentally prolific surname.

Early Origins of the Smethie family

The surname Smethie was first found in Durham, in present day Northumbria (North-Eastern England) where an Olde English version of the name is cited in circa 975, almost 100 years before the Normans would invade this part of England.

Some of the family moved to Mount Thoydon in Essex. "The church [of Mount Thoydon] is a handsome edifice, containing many fine monuments to the family of Smyth, among which is one to Sir Thomas Smyth, chancellor of the garter, and principal secretary of state, in the reigns of Edward VI. and Elizabeth." [1]

"Wootton Hall [in Wooton-Wawen, Warwickshire] was early the seat of the Smythe family, of whom was Lord Carrington, who, at the battle of Edge-Hill, bravely redeemed the royal standard, as is recorded on his monument in Christ-Church, Oxford. Over the front entrance of the Hall are the arms, finely executed in relief, of Lord Carrington. " [1]

"The extensive manor of Mitchell-Morton, which stretches into the parishes of Kilkhampton, Moorwinstow, and Jacobstow, in Cornwall, and Week St. Pancras in Devonshire, is generally denominated from this parish. This large manor belonged, about the year 1660, to the family of Smith." [2]

Early History of the Smethie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smethie research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1279, 1568, 1655, 1559, 1608, 1657, 1640, 1644, 1663, 1631, 1649, 1650, 1652, 1653, 1658, 1616, 1617, 1675, 1621, 1681, 1661, 1679, 1679, 1611, 1691, 1616, 1696, 1662, 1717, 1701, 1665, 1720, 1699 and are included under the topic Early Smethie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smethie Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Smethie has been spelled many different ways, including Smith, Smyth, Smythe and others.

Early Notables of the Smethie family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Richard Smith (1568-1655), officially the Bishop of Chalcedon, the second Catholic bishop for England, Wales and Scotland after Catholicism was banned in England in 1559; John Smith (c. 1608-1657), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1644, supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; John Smith (died 1663) English-born immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony c. 1631, 3rd President of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (1649-1650), 6th President of Providence and Warwick (1652-1653); William Smyth (died 1658), Doctor of Divinity (DD), an...
Another 110 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smethie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Smethie family to Ireland

Some of the Smethie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 88 words (6 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 Smethie family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Smethies to arrive in North America: Rich Smith, who settled in Virginia in 1638; Abbigall Smith, who was granted land in Virginia in 1673; James Smith and his wife Mary, who immigrated to Boston in 1718 with their children, Abel Smith, who came to Boston in 1763.

The Smethie 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: Benigno Numine
Motto Translation: By Divine Providence.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook
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