Last name: Smith

Recorded in the spellings of Smith, Smithe, Smythe, and the patronymics Smiths, and Smithson, this is the most popular surname in the English speaking world by a considerable margin. Of pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon origins, it derives from the word 'smitan' meaning 'to smite' and as such is believed to have described not a worker in iron, but a soldier, one who smote. That he also probably wore armour, which he would have been required to repair, may have lead to the secondary meaning. The famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles sometimes known as the first newspaper, in the 9th century a.d. uses the expression 'War-Smith' to describe a valiant warrior, whilst the later medieval Guild List of specialist trades has blacksmith, whitesmith, tinsmith, goldsmith and silversmith amongst its many members, but no trade of 'smith'. These descriptions of the skilled workers of the Middle Ages were exact, and it is our opinion after studying many early records that the original smiths were probably the guards of the local lord of the manor. This would account for the singular popularity of the name, as the early social records indicate that the trades of tailor and baker were much more prevalent than that of Smith in any form. What is certain is that over five hundred coats of arms have been granted to Smith nameholders, surely an indication of the soldier background, rather than a humble ironworker. The great family Smith is 'first' in all major cities of the English speaking world, yet curiously the greatest concentration of Smith's are in Aberdeenshire, Scotland! Why this should be so is far from clear. Not surprisingly the Smith name was one of the very first into the New American colonies, being held by the famous John Smith (1580 - 1631), explorer and writer, who helped to found the state of Virginia. He was reputedly saved from execution by Pocahontas, the Indian chief's daughter, who died in England in 1622. The first recorded spelling of the family name, and probably the first surname recorded anywhere in the world, is that of Eceard Smid. This was dated 975 a.d., in the English Surname Register for County Durham, during the reign of King Edward of England, known as "The Martyr", 975 - 979 a.d.

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rodney collins

Pocahontas married john rolfe(helped begin tobacco trade)she died at age 22 of smallpox,im smith one family,16th great grandson of her on the other.

miyyah510

My last name isn't Mason, but I found out as a child that I am related to Will Smith!

kat6602@aol.com

My great-grandfather was James Smith, born about 1831 in County Cavan, Ireland. Does anyone have Smith relatives from that county. I read online that the Smith name was McGowan.

Anna Smith
Smiths are so cool I've learned so much about my family now

Christine Smith
Tracing my family tree and the Smiths in my family were crofters, farmers and estate workers from Morayshire, Scotland....neighbouring Aberdeenshire mentioned earlier.

Ned Wood
My maiden name was Smith and when I was a little girl I hated it because everyone said how common the name was but to this day I don't know any other Smiths but my own family. After finding out that Smiths were minders, soldiers or guards I think it's a pretty cool name to have now.

paul
Most of my family is from Ireland.Last name smith,related to scully family.Born in New York city.and raise in California.father >George,mom>Mary.both were from the trii/state area. I have 2 brothers,Robert & Harry, both older then me, by 2 to 4 yrs.never knew them,I was given to my uncle to raise.I`m 70 yrs old now,would love to meet them.

samuel
that's cool how i can learn about my generation

Gary Smith
...John Smith (1580 - 1631), explorer and writer, who helped to found the state of Virginia. While state of Virginia would not be entirely incorrect, it might more accurately be said "colony of Virginia so early in history. Gary

KesHarrison
my mothers maiden name is smith, she was born in sheffield i found my great grand fathers name is ernest smith (1910-1960) his parents george smith (1861-1918) he married elizabeth dent (1862-1924). i dont really know anyone else with that surname in sheffield, england. if anyone is let me know......im always on facebook.

Teddy smith
I was born in Sheffield and raised in dronfield :D

Susan Elizabeth Smith
I am looking for South African Smith's who stayed in and around Cedarville and Kokstad. My grandfather was Paulus Johannes Martens Smith born 18/3/1896 and his father was Johannes Petrus Smith and mother was Susanna Katrina Maartens I am trying to look up family history but cannot find anything related to my grandfathers family and where they came from. I would appreciate any help and information.

Natural Vitamins
I was always told it was jewish!

Ned Wood
LOL

Channy Perkins
Yes, some of them are.

Rosevelt Dume
I have been trying to locate some Smith's. My wife's father is Trevor Smith. However, she's never met him nor any family from his side. The little that I know is that Trevor Smith's mother is Telma Henry and they were born in Jamaica. Thelma Henry lived in the USA at some point (Washington). Any of you Smith's has any idea or suggestion? I would appreciate your feedback!

Abby Smith
Thats really interesting that my surname is really popular and it has a long history behind it.

shirley munholland mcknight
My grandmother was mrytle maggie smith ,Munholland,Hopper ,Shes buried in Epps,La.at midway cemetery.She died around 1938.Think she had a brother,John Smith, lived in monroe,La.

Chelsea Smith Williams
Love My Name,Smith And Williams Because There Really Popluar.

mandy smith
Hello my name is mandy smith i found out last yr that my father was arnold smith and his father was arnold smith too and senior arnolds mother was edith smith spite connected to romanys but im still doing my tree carnt seem to find her mother lizzie smith i think lived with joseph spite as i can not find no record of marriage but still plodding on .

Denee' Higman Kaveny
My great grandma Gladis Viola Smith - Jones - O'Grady

James E. Smith
I'm james, son of Arnold Smith of the Bahamas. all decendants of Scotland. I live in Toronto,Ontario, Canada. we are getting out numbered by the Singhs. Go forth & multiply my brothers & sisters!! drink hail! J.

Karin Serfontein nee Smith
Good Morning Anthony, I noticed that you are affiliated with the MacPherson clan? My grandfather was Frederick Ernest Smith born in the UK but we don't know where. It is very possible that he was born in Scotland ca 1886. He was the son of Alfred and Annie Smith. The surname MacPherson appears in his family Bible, unfortunately the Bible was stolen many years ago. If you have any information or connection would you mind sharing it with me. Enjoy a lovely day, Regards from South Africa, Karin Serfontein nee Smith

Karin Serfontein
I am looking for information on Smith's in Chichester please. Do you have any connection with Ellen Smith born 1841 in Chichester, she married James Pratt in 1860 in Leighton Buzzard. I would like to know who Ellen Smith's father was and if he had any brothers. Your kind help will be so much appreciated. Enjoy the day, Karin Serfontein nee Smith, South Africa.

Matt Sears
My name is Matt Sears, I am currently coordinating research with the University of Leicester into the Romany Community of Britain. As part of this study we will be taking DNA samples from males who carry documented Romany surnames, Smith being one of those chosen. The research has full ethical approval and the results will be accessible online towards the end of the study. If your Smith paternal ancestry has Romany origins and you can provide some detail of your male line back to 1900 or thereabouts we would be interested in sending you a kit through the post. The study is free, the results will help us better understand the origins of Britain 19s Romany community. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Richard G May
Matt please can I refer to the name Lee I'm a decendant (great great nephew) of Gypsy Rose Lee. I have place a comment on that blog to you

kelly lee
richard i am also a decendant of gypsy rose lee there are many different ones but if were talking of the same one i can give you info thanks for your time kelly

Kristen Goodwin
Im adopted and would like to know more about my fathers bloodline. His name is Stephen Smith from Houston TX and graduated from Jersey Village HS 1989. So he was born in 1970 or 71'. Not much to go on but its all I have.

Alan Edward Smith
Hi Matt, I was born in Gilsland, Cumberland England 6/12/1939. My Father was Matthew Smith, born Caverswall, Staffs 14/10/1902. My grandfather, Matthew Smith born longton, Stoke 11/7/1881. I can trace back to the mid 1700's. Some of my relatives were living on the " Black Patch " in Birmingham until they were all evicted in the early 1900's. I would dearly like to be included in this study. yours sincerely, A. E. Smith

Terrance smith
This really helped

samantha
My name is Samantha Smith my fathers name is David Smith and my granfather was Peter Smith. I no that my dad was born and lived in London growing up, and I think my granfather may have been born in London too . I have just found my dad after 34 years and would love to find out a bit of history about my family and maybe develop a family tree..

Blyth Hutchinson
I'm Blyth Hutchinson, my mother's father Ferlis Smith was born in Jamaica but his father or grand father was originally from Scotland. I have no names of his family nor dates. Anyone knows of any Smith's that migrated to jamaica in the 1700's to be plantantion owners?

William Osborne
for all of the Smith's,see Osborne Surname,especially William Osborne: Jamestown,Virginia 1624 Census,gives a list of all Smith's at that time

Jessica
I'm Jessica smith have sister Olivia smith Melissa. Smith father Paul smith living in Sheffield

Anthony Smith
my name is anthony smith the original smiths hail from scotland . iam offiliated with the slan macpherson of clunny. and the great confederations of the clan chattan. i am a truest since in the word a jacobite . and am a strong believer in the stewart line. the true kings of great britian. no hanoverian king for me. hail forever scotland of old and the old clan system. gaelic speaking , bagpipes, all the way from eriskay to kinloch moidart, hail forever the black rock of clan chattan.and may our dearly departed bonnie prince rest in peace.

Donald Praast
My ancestor was Reverand John Smith went to Plymouth Rock in 1630, married Susannah Hinckley and many, many generations later, there is a long line of Smiths. Susannah Hinckley's brother was Thomas Hinckley, Governor of Plymouth Rock. Id related, let me know. Smiths were on both sides of the Revolutionary War of 1776.

sharon smith
Hi, we may be related, have a few Smith faimlys n my line. I am related to the name Hopkins, Doty, and Cook on the Mayflower. Will look up your ancestor. Thank you Sharon

Sharon Smith
Reading the information for the name of Smith helps to now why the name is so popular. My fathers name was George Henry smih from new england families related to Chandler Robbins lsmith, connected to the Mayflower families. The farthest date I have is 1730 Benjamin smith married Abigail Walling.

esmaeil mohammadi
hi my name is mr esmaeil mohammadi from iran i sow mr goege smith familly barbara and jane and violet in krachi pakistan at 1969 then thy gon to thir coutry england on susex city fromthat time i amlooking to find them becuse thy ar my best frinds pleas help me tofind them withe best wishes esmaeil mohammadi

Frederick James Smith III
Grandfather=Frederick James Smith from the UK, Grandmother= Elizabeth Burns from Ireland... Married in US , somewhere near NYC.

Barry Smith
My Father was Hector McDonald Smith from South Wales and my Mother was Olive May Smith Yes that was her maiden name. Dad born 30th June 1921 My mum born 1st May 1925. I am Barry Smith born Edmonton London 5th April 1052

brian bevan
i am trying to trace a friend called barry smith who I met around 1995 . i know he had a daughter called Catherine and his family lived in Peterborough at the time, I know hewas of Romany descent. Barry helped me build my bird of prey aviaries and I have often wondered what happenerd to him . I wonder if you might be him but think he was born in the mid to late 1950s . If you could help me to trace him I would be very grateful. Best Wishes Brian Bevan

Barbara Wills
My g-grandfather was Godfrey Smith born in Hesse Darmstadt Germany and came to Breckinridge Co Ky about 1840. I would like to find someone interested in these Smiths.

melissa smith
im melissa smith my dad is paul smith and grandfather john smith living london C

Simone Smith
Just wondering... My name is Simone Smith, and I THINK my last name (Smith) is european. Does this mean that I am European possibly? ~Yours Truly, Simone S. Smith

vezna
Not necessarily-Many people adopt names.Where are you from?

Ray
I am a Smith fromSunderland England. I would like to know more of my family tree? Anyone out there can help me? Thankyou.

Gaelic Gaul
In reality Smith was also a name taken by very many immigrants to replace foreign sounding family names. It was adopted in order to be better accepted and to improve their prospects in new homelands that were under Anglo-Saxon governance. By taking this common Anglo-Saxon name they (or at least their children) could perhaps hope to escape discrimination and the condescention for which the English are quite famous.

Emmie Germishuys
My ggfather was Horace Joseph Smith, married Elizabeth Mary Slater who was born in 1881 in Birmingham. Would love to get a family tree going - if I can trace enough decendants..... and ancestors?

G Jones
Lots of cockneys called Smiff.

Jo
:-) any info on cockney Smiffs?

jon
I don`t know much about my name(smith),but,my father george w. smith married my mother(mary agnes Scully) somewere around NY or NJ,back in the 30`s 0r 40`s.I had 2 brothers and 1 older sister.becouse I was taken away at birth, I know almost nothing about them.ancestors,but,they`re from Ireland & Scotland

Alice Carroll
I also posted this under Smythe. Smith if also one of the top 10 surnames in Ireland. A lot of Smiths in Ireland would have originally been MacGowan but had to anglicise their name when Ireland was under British control. Mac an Gabhain literally means "son of the smith". This might also be the explanation for the Scottish Smiths.

Penny Bronte
Father's surname Smith his parents Frank Smith Mother Esther Smith nee Filbee , from High Wycombe Bucks, Originaly from Princess Risborough. Would love to hear from any Smiths who think they might be related

Philip Darrol Smith born 1948
My father was Horace Albert Smith born1901, my mother was Joyce Victoria Smith born 1920 (with a sister called Lilley) and lived in Derbyshire later. They once took me Philip Darrol to visit relatives in or near High Wycome. I was only about 5 years old but I recollect a smallholding with small chickens (bantams). A bit vague but who knows!