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Smith family page


Louisa Esther Smith, nee de La Mare

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Origins of surname

This, the commonest of all UK surnames, comfortably ahead of Jones, Taylor and Williams, is renowned as being the most difficult for family historians to research, just because there are so many of them, and have been for a long time.

Contrary to popular misconception, the origins of the name have nothing to do with a blacksmith, or any other sort of smith. The name comes from the word smitan, meaning 'to smite', and as such is believed to have described not a worker in iron, but a soldier, one who smote. That he also probably wore armour, which he would have been required to repair, may have lead to the secondary meaning

Early records

The name has been present in Jersey since the 1620s, although our Comprehensive list of Jersey surnames, which was compiled not without an element of insular snobbery, ignores it.

The 14 baptisms registered between 1621 and 1778 were all girls.


  • Smith
  • Smyth
  • Smithe
  • Smythe
  • Smiths
  • Smithson

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