islands and Western coastal mountains of Scotland
were once part of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada. The name Smilly was born there, as a nickname
for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smilly 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 Smilly comes from the Old English word, smile,
which means grin.
Therefore, the surname Smilly would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.
Early Origins of the Smilly family
The surname Smilly 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 Smilly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smilly 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 Smilly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Smilly Spelling Variations
Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations
of Smilly include Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.
Early Notables of the Smilly family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smilly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smilly family to Ireland
Some of the Smilly 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 Smilly family to the New World and Oceana
Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence
many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan
societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Smilly 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 Smilly 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.