Smithson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Smithson is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a person who was the son of the smith. During medieval times there was a smith in nearly every village. Smiths were important for their metalworking skills, making horseshoes and ploughshares as well as weapons and armour. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries.

Early Origins of the Smithson family

The surname Smithson was first found in Warwickshire 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 Smithson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smithson research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1765 and 1829 are included under the topic Early Smithson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smithson Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Smithson are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Smithson include Smithson, Smythson and others.

Early Notables of the Smithson family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include James Smithson (1765-1829), chemist and mineralogist. He was born James Lewes Macie, the illegitimate son of Hugh Simthson Percy, Duke of Northumberland...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smithson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Smithson migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Smithson or a variant listed above:

Smithson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Smithson who settled in Virginia in 1634
  • Robert Smithson, who landed in Maryland in 1634 [1]
  • William Smithson who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • William Smithson, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [1]
  • Tho Smithson, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Smithson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Smithson, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [1]
  • John Smithson, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [1]
  • John Smithson, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [1]
  • John Smithson who settled in Jamaica in 1761
Smithson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Smithson, who landed in New York in 1842 [1]

Canada Smithson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Smithson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Smithson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Robert Smithson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Smithson migration to Australia +

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

Smithson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Smithson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839 [2]
  • Mr. Arthur Smithson, English convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [3]
  • William Smithson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [4]

New Zealand Smithson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Smithson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Smithson, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
  • Mr. James Smithson, (b. 1826), aged 32, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [5]
  • Mrs. Hannah Smithson, (b. 1827), aged 31, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [5]
  • Miss Margaret Ann Smithson, (b. 1846), aged 12, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [5]
  • Mr. William Smithson, (b. 1848), aged 10, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Smithson (post 1700) +

  • William Smithson, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1912 [6]
  • Robert H. Smithson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1948 [6]
  • Maria Smithson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oregon, 2000; Presidential Elector for Oregon, 2000 [6]
  • C. J. Smithson, American politician, Mayor of Fairfield, Alabama, 1957-60 [6]
  • Forrest Custer Smithson (1884-1962), American gold medalist athlete, winner of 110 m hurdles at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • William Michael "Mike" Smithson (b. 1955), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Robert Smithson (1938-1973), American artist
  • Gerald Arthur Smithson (1926-1970), English cricket player
  • John Smithson, British film and television producer
  • Henrietta Constance "Harriet" Smithson (1800-1854), Irish actress, the first wife of Hector Berlioz, and the inspiration for his Symphonie Fantastique by the French composer Hector Berlioz
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Hooghly.htm
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bangalore
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Navarino.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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