This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Smalles, Smales, Smailes, etc., is a patronymic of the name Small, itself a nickname for a person of slender build or diminutive stature, deriving from the Middle English "smal", Olde English pre 7th Century "smoel" meaning "thin, narrow, small". It may also be a locational name from Smales in Northumberland, deriving from the Olde English "smoel", "narrow (place)". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include William le Smale (1294) noted in the Court Rolls of the Abbey of Ramsey, Huntingdonshire; Isaack, son of Anthony Smales, who was christened on June 22nd 1610 in the Church of St. Giles Cripplegate, London, and Anne, daughter of Thomas Smalls, who was christened on April 11th 1638 also in St. Giles Cripplegate, London. One James Smalls, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Miracle" bound for New York on July 14th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Smale which was dated 1221, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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