Show ContentsSmiles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The rugged western mountains of Scotland's coastline and the Hebrides islands were home to the ancestors of the Smiles family. Smiles was originally a name for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smiles 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 Smiles comes from the Old English word, smile, which means grin. Therefore, the surname Smiles would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.

Early Origins of the Smiles family

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

Early History of the Smiles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smiles research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1630, 1660, 1670, 1689, 1697, 1740, 1763, 1774, 1787, 1795, 1890 and 1968 are included under the topic Early Smiles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smiles Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Smiles has been spelled Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.

Early Notables of the Smiles family

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

Ireland Migration of the Smiles family to Ireland

Some of the Smiles 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.

United States Smiles migration to the United States +

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Smiles arrived in North America very early:

Smiles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Smiles, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1822 1

Australia Smiles migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Smiles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Smiles, (b. 1787), aged 28, English agricultural labourer who was convicted in Northumberland, England for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1851 2

Contemporary Notables of the name Smiles (post 1700) +

  • Sir Walter Dorling Smiles CIE, DSO, DL (b. 1883), Northern Irish politician who died in the sinking of the ferry Princess Victoria during the North Sea Floods
  • Mr. Raymond Smiles M.B.E., British recipient of the Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Football and to Young People in Wales 3

North Sea Flood
  • Walter Dorling Smiles, North Irish politician traveler aboard the ferry "Princess Victoria" killed in the North Sea Flood, a major storm surge in 1953

The Smiles 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.

  1. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from
  3. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook