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Smed Coat of Arms / Smed Family Crest

The surname of SMED was an occupational name 'the smith' a worker in metals, one who worked on a lathe. The name was brought into England from Germany, sometime during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name was common to every village in England during medieval times. Medieval smiths were important not only in making horseshoes, ploughshares, and other domestic articles, but above all for their skill in forging swords, other weapons and armour. The name is most common in the Aberdeenshire area, and also throughout the Midlands and in East Anglia. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The name is also spelt Smyth and Smythe. Early records of the name mention Philip le Smethe, 1273 County Huntingdonshire. Johannes Tagge Smyght, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Sydney Smith (1771-1845) English churchman and essayist, author of 'Letters of Peter Plymley' in defence of Catholic emancipation. Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the Morman Sect.

A notable member of the name was Dame Ethel Mary Smith born in 1858, the English composer and suffragette. After studying at Leipzig, she composed symphonies, choral works and operas. As a crusader for woman's suffrage she composed the battle-song of the Women's Social and Political Union 'The March of the Women' (1911). She was imprisoned for three months, but created a DBE in 1922. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.

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Last Updated: January 15th, 2021

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