This interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name for someone who lived at the smithy and was presumably a blacksmith, deriving from the old English pre 7th Century "smitte" meaning "smithy". The surname might also derive from the middle English "at ther smethe" meaning "dweller at the smooth, level place", deriving from the old English "smethe". The surname dates back to the early 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one John atter Smythe (1330), "The placenames Book of Buckinghamshire". Church records include Hester, daughter of John and Mary Athersmith, who was christened at St. Bride, Fleet Street, London on July 22nd 1689, John Athersmith who married Mary Hartley at Leigh, Lancashire, on May 20th 1816, and Margaret Athersmith who married Thomas Park at St. Mary's, Lancaster on April 9th 1831. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William del Smethe, which was dated 1327, "The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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