Popular United States Surnames
Genealogy For Smith Surname

Brief History of Smith Surname : The people in the smith family tree and with the Smith surname, not just blacksmiths, existed in early times. The prefix of the names depended on what type of material the metal worker used, a whitesmith uses tin, a brownsmith uses copper, a goldsmith uses gold, and a shoesmith works as a farrier or one who shoes horses.

Blacksmithing is one of the ealiest occupations that earned its prestige as one of the first careers that required knowledgable skills. Many blacksmith acquired great wealth because of the demand for their services. Demand was great because the only mode of transportation being a horse and carriage. They also molded and struck metal into armor, weapons and even farming equirment. Early blacksmiths are considered the first known engineers.

In addition to blacksmithing, many Smith family members took up arms as soldiers during the crusades and other monumental conflicts affecting the English speaking world. Throughout time, Smiths have colonized new lands, commandeered great ships, and earned prominence in the world of sports, poetry, and other forms of entertainment.

The Country Origins of the Smith Surname
The Smith surname primarily originates from such countries as England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany. Throughout the ages, the Smith surname maintains its position as the most popular surname in the United States and Great Britain. Still holding a great majority of Smith's or MacGowan's in Ireland, the country lists the Smith surname as 5th popular.
England : The first recorded holder of the Smith name is Ecceard Smid, residing in Durham County, England in 975 AD. The Smith surname is the most common in the English speaking world. Many have changed their existing name to become more like the English. Many variations of the name Smith have been formed in order for families to set themselves apart from the multitude of other Smith families.
Germany : The German variation of the Smith surname is Schmidt. The descendants of the Schmidt line derive from noble families in regions of Prussia, which later became what is known as Germany today.
Ireland / Scottland : The Smith surname used to describe the son of a smith is MacGowan. The MacGowan surname is very prevalent in Cavan County, Ireland. Although not many Smith or MacGowan family were famous, The Burkes' Guide to County Houses indicates that the Smith families owned an noticeably large number of grand estates in Ireland.

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