Where did the Scottish small family come from? What is the Scottish coat of arms/family crest? When did the small family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
The surname small is derived from the Old English word "smal," which means "narrow," "thin," or "small," and evolved from a nickname for a person who was small in stature. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress.
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. small has appeared as Small, Smalle, Smal and others.
First found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Frił), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name small or a variant listed above include: Edward and Francis Small, who settled in Maine in 1620; the same year as the "Mayflower"; Elizabeth Small, who settled in Virginia in 1639; Henry Small, who settled in Virginia in 1636.
Motto Translated: By reason, not by rage.
For more information on the last name small, the PDF Surname History is available for purchase as well as other products.
Suggested Readings for the name small
* Buxton Forbes Laurie of Southcote by N.J. Vine Hall.
* Descendants of Margry Lemond and James Nicholas Small by Haskell Pruett.
Some noteworthy people of the name small
* Bertrice Small (b. 1937), American bestselling writer of historical and romance novels
* Edward Small (1891-1977), American film producer
* Michael Small (1939-2003), American film score composer
* Chris Small (b. 1973), Scottish professional snooker player
* Ambrose Joseph Small (b. 1863), Canadian theatre owner
* Sir Bruce Small (1895-1980), Australian businessman and politician
* Charles A Small, Professor with the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University
* Very Rev. Robert Leonard Small, Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland
Please be aware that there is more than one coat of arms for this surname. If you would like this particular coat of arms, you must describe it on your order form. If you don't describe it on your order form, we will provide you with the oldest coat of arms on record for this surname, which may or may not be the one pictured above.
Also, the heraldry images on this website are copyrighted. Please email me if you would like permission to use the image pictured above on a website.
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