The ancient Dalriadan kingdom consisted of the Hebrides
islands, and the rugged mountains of Scotland
west coast. The name Smylay began in this region; it was a nickname
for a for a person noted for their smile, or happy personality. Smylay 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 Smylay comes from the Old English word, smile,
which means grin.
Therefore, the surname Smylay would have been adopted by someone with a distinct smile, or grin.
Early Origins of the Smylay family
The surname Smylay 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 Smylay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smylay 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 Smylay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Smylay Spelling Variations
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations
in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Smylay has been spelled Smiley, Smellie, Smyly, Smyley, Smilley, Smilie and many more.
Early Notables of the Smylay family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smylay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Smylay family to Ireland
Some of the Smylay 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 Smylay family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Smylay were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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 Smylay 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.