This surname of SHOOSMITH was derived from the Old English word 'scoh-smid' an occupational name meaning 'a maker of horseshoes, a farrier'. The name was very familiar to medieval documents. Occupational surnames refer directly to the particular trade or occupation followed by the first bearer of the name. These occupations can be divided into classes such as agricultural, manufacturing, retailing and so on. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today. Smiths, millers and wrights were indeed specialists, but even they would normally have their own smallholdings for growing crops and keeping a few animals. Others were simply designated as the servant of some person of a higher social status, as a maid or parson. Early records of the name mention William Schosmith or Sosmith who was recorded in the year 1208 in the County of Somerset.
Thomas Sixsmith was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1602. Bryan Shussmith of Winnwick, County Lancashire, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1576. The name has many variant spellings which include Shoosmith, Shuxsmith, Sucksmith and Sixsmith. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared). Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs, and Richard III was called 'Crouchback' owing to his deformed shoulder.
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