Smogur is a surname of complicated origins. Recorded in small numbers in the USA and Canada, occasionally in Europe, and as far south as Argentina, it is probably Russian or at least Eastern Europe - once under Russian control. This includes Poland, Belarus, and The Ukraine. It is probably job descriptive but the only match we can find is with the former town of Smorgoni. Smorgoni is recorded on the 1830 maps as being in Russia and the region and city of Drodno. Today Drodno is called Hrodzyenskaya, and is an area of Belarus, itself now a separate country, - whilst Smorgoni itself seems to have totally disappeared from the modern maps! Comparing these maps with the pre Victorian examples we think that Smorgoni may today be called Kaiveliai, and if so this is now in The Ukraine! A brief study of local languages suggests that both the surname Smogur and the place Smorgoni were probably influenced by the Slav language, and would originally have been written in the Cyrillic type.If so both are transliterations, creating 'sounds like' spelling forms. A relatively modern example of this source is that of the famous T E Lawrence, later known as Lawrence of Arabia. In 1915 he had the job of preparing modern maps (of Arabia), from existing sketches by soldiers and explorers. He found immediately that almost every place had several 'anglicised' spellings. It is said he created his own, - for consistancy. Original Russian records of births and deaths such as existed were largely destroyed by the communists after the takeover of Russia in 1917. Poland inspite of its appalling treatment by both the Russians and the Germans, is slightly better off as a research source. It was there that we found the following early example. This was the christening of John Smogur, the son of John and Magdalena Smogur at Azesowskiego, Pulawy, Poland, on July 15th 1844. Even where we are unable to provide clear evidence of the meaning of a name, we do like to offer suggestions. We think it is probably a descriptive name from 'smog'. This word was used in ancient times to describe a type of cloth called 'flock', - the name is highly unlikely to have anything to do with the British 'smog' - a mix of smoke and fog.
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