Smyth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Smyth began among the ancestors of the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. It was a name for a smithy. Although Smyth appears to be an occupational name for a blacksmith, it has been suggested that when surnames came into use in Scotland, several different families simply 'took on' the name whether they had been blacksmiths or not. Thus, Smyth is a classic example of a polygenetic surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Smyth family

The surname Smyth was first found in northern England and Scotland, where they held a family seat from ancient times. In trying to establish a single source for this amazing, monumentally prolific surname Smith, it is asserted that they descended from Neil Cromb, a Chieftain who flourished in 1150, third son of Murdoch, Chief of the Clan Chattan, a confederation of twenty-six Clans of which Smith was a member Clan.

Faber and Ferro were Latin equivalents of the name Smith which were used in medieval documents. William faber de Karel witnessed legal proceedings c. 1250. William the Smith served as a juror during an inquest held at Traquair in 1274. In Aberdeen there lived an Alan Smyth in 1398. Finally, a Patrick Smyth of Scotland is noted as being confined in the Tower of London in 1401.

Early History of the Smyth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smyth research. Another 240 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1853, 1620, 1668, 1660, 1665, 1720, 1699 and are included under the topic Early Smyth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smyth Spelling Variations

Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Smyth has been written Smith, Smyth, Smythe and others.

Early Notables of the Smyth family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Smyth family to Ireland

Some of the Smyth family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 88 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Smyth migration to the United States +

Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Smyth:

Smyth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Arthur Smyth, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [1]
  • John Smyth, who arrived in Virginia in 1643 [1]
  • Richard Smyth, who landed in Virginia in 1649 [1]
  • James Smyth, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [1]
  • Nicholas Smyth, aged 19, who arrived in Virginia in 1684 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Smyth Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip Smyth, who landed in New York in 1795 [1]
Smyth Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Smyth, who arrived in New York in 1801 [1]
  • Francis Smyth, aged 29, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [1]
  • Robert Smyth, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • James Smyth, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • Mary Smyth, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Smyth migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Smyth Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Smyth U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 he died prior to c. 1810 [2]
Smyth Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Smyth, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • Bridget Smyth, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • Ellen Smyth, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • Connick Smyth, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Leslie Gault" in 1833
  • Catherine Smyth, aged 16, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Leslie Gault" in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Smyth migration to Australia +

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

Smyth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Smyth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [3]
  • Robert Smyth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [4]
  • Jane Smyth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [4]
  • Elizabeth Smyth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [4]
  • David Smyth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Smyth 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:

Smyth Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Hamilton Smyth, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • George Smyth, aged 23, a carpenter, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Catherine Smyth, aged 22, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Clara Smyth, aged 2, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Dinah Smyth, aged 3 mths., who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Smyth (post 1700) +

  • William Smyth (1797-1868), American mathematician and theologian
  • Alexander Smyth (1765-1830), Irish-born, American politician; General during the War of 1812
  • Estelle Smyth, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1980 [5]
  • Edward Smyth, American politician, Member of California State Assembly, 1877-80, 1887-89 [5]
  • David J. Smyth, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936 [5]
  • Dana Smyth, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 2004 [5]
  • Constantine J. Smyth, American Democrat politician, Nebraska State Attorney General, 1897-1901; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1904, 1912 [5]
  • Clifford Smyth, American politician, U.S. Consul in Cartagena, 1897 [5]
  • Charles H. Smyth, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1888 [5]
  • Cameron Smyth, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 2008 [5]
  • ... (Another 41 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Thomas Smyth (d. 1912), aged 26, Irish Third Class passenger from Caltra, Galway who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [7]
  • Miss Julia Smyth, aged 17, Irish Third Class passenger from Kilcogy, Cavan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 13 [7]


The Smyth 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: Semper Fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.


  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM NICOL. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840WilliamNichol.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846IsabellaWatson.htm
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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