The Smilles family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides
islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, Smilles evolved as a nickname
for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smilles 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 Smilles comes from the Old English word, smile,
which means grin.
Therefore, the surname Smilles would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.
Early Origins of the Smilles family
The surname Smilles 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 Smilles family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smilles 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 Smilles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Smilles Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. Smilles has appeared as Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.
Early Notables of the Smilles family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smilles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smilles family to Ireland
Some of the Smilles 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 Smilles family to the New World and Oceana
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence
as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan
societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Smilles or a variant listed above: 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 Smilles 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.