What does the name Smith mean?
Smith is one of the most popular surnames in the English-speaking world, particularly common among those of English, Scottish and Irish heritage, but also often used by African Americans as a result of the enslaved being given the surname of their slavers. Smith dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era and derives from the occupation of 'smith', from the Old English 'Smid', which means to hit or to strike, and was used to describe someone who worked with metal (a blacksmith for example). The Smith surname would have been given to those with a connection to this occupation, in the era before surnames were inherited. Due to the occupational nature of this surname, there are many diverse branches of the Smith family, and there is believed to be no common line of origin to be traced back to.
The earliest occurrence of the Smith surname in our family history documents is from 1418, and we currently have 24,662,412 records where Smith appears.
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Typical jobs for Smiths
Hard-working people, the Smiths. 23412 worked as labourers, according to the 1901 Census.
Where most Smiths lived
In the 1900s, you’d probably bump into a Smith in London.
Smiths’ criminal history
How do we put this... Not all Smiths were angels, apparently. We found 37244 in criminal records.
Smiths in World War I
According to the World War I records, 34458 Smiths served in the First World War.