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SMITH Family History
Family spelling variants include Smithe, Smeeth, Smyth, Smythe, Smye, Smy, Smiths.
There are approximately 4,296,003 Smith family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Smith names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of Smith family members live in USA with 2,975,649 (69.3%) members, England with 632,690 (14.7%), Canada with 192,207 (4.5%), Australia with 183,242 (4.3%), South Africa with 182,680 (4.3%), Scotland with 64,034 (1.5%), Ireland with 26,159 (0.6%), Wales with 25,670 (0.6%) and New Zealand with 13,672 (0.3%) members.
An English and Scottish occupational name, from Middle English ‘smith’ (Old English smið), denoting a worker in metal, especially iron, such as a blacksmith or farrier. It is possibly derived from smitan ‘to strike, hammer’). As medieval occupation, as well as making horseshoes, their skills would have been in forging swords, weapons and armour.
In Scotland and Ireland, sometimes adopted for Gaelic Mac Gobhann, Irish Mac Gabhann meaning ‘son of the smith’, similarly McGowan.
Also, an English locative or occupational name from Middle English smithe , smethe ‘smithy, forge’ (Old English smiððe, smeðe). It may be topographic, for someone who lived in or by a blacksmith’s shop, occupationally as a blacksmith or toponymic for someone from a place so named, such as Smeeth (Kent) or Smitha in King’s Nympton (Devon).
The English surname has absorbed Dutch Smith and German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) Schmidt, by assimilation and translation, cognates and equivalents including many other languages.
Early examples are also found in the Latin form Faber, also Smither.
Early bearers of the surname include: Laurence de Smethe, 1275 in Hundred Rolls (Kent); John de la Smythe, 1311 in Assize Rolls (Devon); William atte Smithe, 1313 in Ancient Deeds i (Sussex); John atter Smythe, 1330 in Subsidy Rolls (Devon); Robert atte Smyth, 1332 in Subsidy Rolls (Sussex); Guydo atter Smytthe, 1333 in Subsidy Rolls (Devon); Ralph atte Smythe, 1370 in Assize Rolls (Devon); Willelmus atte Smethe, 1377 in Poll Tax (Fairfield, Kent); Johannes de Smethe, 1379 in Poll Tax (Sheffield, WR Yorks); Johan atte Smithe, 1379 in Poll Tax (Mountfield, Sussex); Willelmus atte Smythe, 1381 in Poll Tax (Bramley, Surrey); Dorathia Smith, 1538 in IGI (Bayford, Herts); Esabell Smith, 1538 in IGI (Kirkby Lonsdale, Westm); Joan Smith, 1538 in IGI (Sandwich, Kent); Johis Smith, 1542 in IGI (Hennock, Devon).
George Smith was English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Ann" in August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
In 1891 Census, there were 412,363 occurrences of the surname in England and Wales, with a further 47,085 in Scotland.
In 1881 Census, the surname was widespread, especially in Kent where there were 14,641 occurrences. It was also a top surname in Nottinghamshire with 7,627 occurrences. In the Gloucestershire county, the surname was also recorded as top surname by occurrence with a total 2,034 in the Bristol district.
In 1881, Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Smith in the UK. The most common being Agricultural Labourer. A less common occupation for the Smith family was Coal Miner.
The noted Charles Smith (1715-1756), was born in Waterford and Ireland's early topographer and county historian. His excellent county histories are a great source of information on 18th century Ireland.
Worthington George Smith (1835 – 1917) was an English cartoonist and illustrator, archaeologist, plant pathologist, and mycologist. His expertise was in fungi, which he collected, studied, and illustrated, writing over 200 articles and papers, as well as several books. His first major work in 1867 was to produce coloured illustrations of poisonous and edible fungi.
Marilynn Louise Smith (1929 – 2019) was an American professional golfer, who was one of the thirteen founders of the LPGA in 1950. She won two major championships and 21 LPGA Tour events in total. She was a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
1881 Census in Bristol
1881 Census in Nottinghamshire
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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