Smith Family History
The Smith ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Smith is an occupational name meaning 'Blacksmith'. Variants of this name include Smithe, Smyth and Smythe. This name was common to every village in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, as it was a popular tradition to use the name of the occupation of blacksmiths and armorers. In Scotland it was recorded that a Robert Smith witnessed a charter by John Bishop of Dunkeld in the year 1199 and in England a Phillip le Smithe, County Huntingdonshire, was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls' in the year 1273. A Willemus Smyght was recorded in the 'Poll Tax', of the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the year 1379. The Irish surnames McGowan and McGuane are hidden under the synonym Smith, in Irish 'Mac an Ghabhain', meaning 'son of smith'. They were one of the principal septs of Breffney, their territory being County Leitrim and the North-West Counties of Donegal and Sligo.The Smith family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Smith descendants.