Irish Surnames

irish surnames

Name History Of Smith

The name Smith is based on the occupation of a “Blacksmith”. The name was common in every village of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales as it became the practice to adopt the occupation of the user as their surname. Blacksmiths and armourers could be found in every village.

The earliest record of the name Smith appeared in 1199 in Scotland when a Robert Smith witnessed a charter.

In 1723 Phillip Le Smithe was recorded in the “Hundred Rolls”.

A Willemus Smyght was recorded in the “Poll Tax” of West Riding in Yorkshire in 1379.

The Irish names McGowan and McGuane derive from the Smith name as “Mac an Ghabhain” means “Son of Smith” in Irish. null

In the US today there are over 3 million citizens with the surname Smith including African Americans who inherited the name in the times of slavery. The surname Smith is held by more than half a million people in the UK.

Smyth, Smythe, Smithe and Smijth are some other variants of the name. Other versions in different languages include Schmidt, Schmid, Smed and Schmieder.

While Li is the most common name in the world, Smith is the most common in the English speaking world. Over 180 million people have the surname Li whereas the surname Smith is held by fewer than 5 million people in the whole world.

The trade of the blacksmith is one of the oldest and lead to practitioners becoming quite wealthy due to the necessity of metal workers building and maintaining horse drawn carriages and tools. Nearly every town and village had a blacksmith due to the demand of their craft which is one of the main reasons the name is so common today.

More information about the name history and coat of arms Smith here.

How to Uncover Irish Heritage With Surnames

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