This surname of SMITHEE was an English occupational name for a worker in metal. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form SMID (to strike). Metal working was one of the earliest occupations for which specialist skills were required, and it is perhaps the most widespread of all occupations. 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 name has numerous variant spellings which include SMITH, SMYTH, SMITHER, SMED, SMDITZ, SMIDMAN, SMUTS, SMUTHER and SMITHSON, to name but a few. Early records of the name mention Ecceard Smid, documented in the year 975. Alfword de Smith was recorded in County Somerset in the year 1100. Robert Smythyman appears in a charter in Somerset in the year 1200. Philip le Smethe, 1273 County Huntingdonshire. Marry de Smethard was recorded in 1285 in County Lancashire. Johannes Tagge Smyght, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 and Henricus Smythman was recorded in the same document. Mathew Smuthard, appears in Lancashire in 1530. Francis Ketely married Mary Smitheyman at Westminster, London in the year 1624. 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 Mormon Sect. John Stafford Smith (1750-1836) was the English composer and musical scholar. He wrote vocal music and was most famous for his tune of 'The Star-spangled Banner'. 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. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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