This name, with variant spellings Shoesmith, Shewsmith, Shoosmith, Sixsmith, Shuxsmith, Shucksmith etc., derives from the medieval English "Schoosmith", itself from the old English pre 7th Century "Scoh", reflected in the old High German "Chuoh", a shoe, plus "smith". Smith itself is a derivative of "Smitan", to strike, and it is at least arguable that this refers, not to a worker in metals, but to a soldier - one who strikes. The surname is presumably occupational in origin for a "shoeing-smith" i.e.a whitesmith (one who worked in hot iron) who specialized in the making of horseshoes. Curiously the accepted word for a shoe-smith is normally 'farrier', which itself has produced several surnames in Farrer, Farrier, Ferrers, etc. The surname was first recorded in the latter part of the 13th Century, (see below) and other early recordings include: William Sosmyth - the 1296 "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", and Bryan Sukesmythe of London city, recorded in the reign of Elizabeth 1, (1558 - 1603). On January 18th 1573 John Shoesmith, an infant, was christened in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London and in 1576 Bryan Shusmith of Winwick was entered in the Wills Records at Chester. The christening of Mary, daughter of John Shewsmith, took place in St. Thomas the Apostle, London on June 18th 1577, and on October 23rd 1694 John Shoosmith married a Deborah Alman in St. James, Dukes, Place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Shosmith, which was dated 1288, in the "Middle English surnames of Occupation", by G. Fransson, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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