One of the most common names in the English speaking world and archetypally the most English of surnames; though it can be both of Irish and Scottish descent. The name sprung up in a multitude of locations,in fact wherever there was a smith,armourer or farrier.It was an occupational name for a worker in metal,most likely derived from the Old English ‘smitan’ to strike,hammer.Metal working was one of the earliest occupations which required specialist skills and its importance ensured that this term became one of the most widespread of all occupational names throughout Europe.In Medieval Europe smiths were of great importance in the manufacture of horseshoes,ploughshares and other domestic items,but above all in their skill in forging swords,other weopons and armour.In Scotland the name Mac Gobha, ‘son of the smith’,was anglicised to Smith; as well as in Ireland the name Mac Gowan,also son of the smith,was in the great majority anglicised to Smith.Many German Schmidts have also anglicised their name to Smith.The Gypsies of England also adopted this surname as an anglicizatin of the name Petulengro,which… Coat of arms: Sable,a fesse dancet…
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