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Smith: Family Name, Meaning, History, And More

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Smith: Family Name, Meaning, History, And More

You can learn a lot about your lineage from your last name. Smith is a common name in many countries, for instance, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Smiths are of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. Today, let's take a look at the Smith family name, where it originated from, what it means, interesting facts about its ancestors, and more.

Origin and Meaning

If you go all the way back to the Anglo-Saxon era, which is 410-1066 AD, the Smith family name is derived from those who had the Smith occupation. In old English, it would have been “Smid.” This word means to strike or hit. This was used to describe blacksmiths or people who worked with metal.

Surname Variations

There are many variations of the name Smith. Although the ones listed below are mostly spelling variations, there are variations that deal directly with the occupation. Often, the variations reflect what kind of metal the person worked with. Blacksmiths would have worked with iron. Redsmiths and Brownsmiths worked with copper. Others who worked with copper could have also been Coppersmiths or even Greensmiths, which represents when iron turns green after oxidizing. Whitesmiths would have worked with tin, also known as Tinsmiths. Goldsmith and Silversmith would have worked with gold and silver.

There are also variations that reflect what kind of tools people made. For example, Bladesmith, Hammersmith, Arrowsmith, Shoesmith, and Wheelsmith. Outside of the trade variations, here are the different spelling variations you might find.

  • Smyth
  • Smythe
  • Simth
  • Smijth
  • Smither
  • Smithers
  • Smyther
  • Smithman
  • Smithson
  • Smithfield
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To learn more about your lineage, you can search online databases or participate in companies like Ancestry.com or 23 and Me.

Interesting Facts

Your ancestors in the United States were most likely laborers or maids in the 1940s. Ancestors from Canada in the 1920s would have most likely been farmers or stenographers. Ancestors from England in the 1930s would have been laborers or doing unpaid domestic duty jobs.

Famous People Named Smith

  • Matt Smtih — English actor
  • Will Smith — American actor and rapper
  • Maggie Smith — English Actress
  • Sam Smith — English singer and songwriter
  • Anna Nicole Smith — American model and actress
  • Willow Smith — American singer and actress
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