This very interesting surname was originally thought to be a transposed spelling of the 13th century medieval job descriptive name 'Smidman' - translating as 'the friend or assistant of the smith'. This is now known to be incorrect. 'Smidmore' is certainly a transposition and one caused by simple dialectal changes, but not of 'Smidman' but more logically of 'Smedmore'. This is a small hamlet in the parish of Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck,in the county of Dorset, and all the early recordings (as Smedmore) are to be found in this area. However in the mid 17th century for reasons unknown, some at least of the original nameholders moved to London (see below), and it is from these people that the variant spellings of Smedmoor, Smedmoore, Smidmore, Smidmoor, and Smidmor, developed over the following centuries. The village name is derived from the pre 7th century 'smebe' meaning 'smooth' and 'mor', an area of water and grassland. Early examples of the church recordings include Agnis Smedmore, the daughter of Francis, christened at Swanage on April 14th 1622, and Priscilla Smedmore, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, London, on October 24th 1641. The later recordings include William Smidmore who married Ann Withers, also at St Dunstans, Stepney, although two centuries later, on July 22nd 1801, and Elizabeth Smidmoor, who married William Wells at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on June 18th 1809. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francis Smedmore, which was dated July 1st 1597, who was born at Swanage, in the county of Dorset, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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