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Smith/Sundius Smith


meaning and origins

The most popular English surname.  My heart sank when I found we had a Smith in the family, (everybody probably does) but in some ways they have been easier to trace than others.  This is one of those occupation surnames - a smith being a man who works with metal.  It is derived from the Anglo-Saxon smitan meaning to smite or strike.


Smyth, Smythe, Smithies, Smithers, Smithson

distribution in England and Wales

The Smiths are everywhere!

London, Stoke Newington, Portslade

You would think that with a name like Smith we would have come to a dead end very quickly.  But no, initially at least this was a relatively easy line to research.  However, with the first Richard Smith - back in the mid eighteenth century I may well have come to a halt.  That name is just too common.


Caroline Margaret Smith was my great-grandmother on my father’s side of the family.  Her father was a miller in the town of Portslade on the English coast, and his father and grandfather were merchants in the city of London.  So a prosperous middle-class family.  Richard Smith the younger had two interesting marriages - the first to the daughter of a Swedish diplomat, merchant and Methodist, related through marriage to John Wesley and the second to the daughter of Adam Clarke another prominent preacher.  The Swedish surname - Sundius (derived from a wife) was added to Smith to make the surname Sundius-Smith - rather more distinctive don’t you think, from the late nineteenth century on, although only some branches of the family did it.  Some of them just stayed plain old Smith.


The tree I have chosen to illustrate the Smith family,  is a product of Ablaze Metal Art and Design and represents an oak tree - a quintessentially English tree.


Austin Friars, Adams Court & Finch Lane


Stoke Newington

The Baltic Exchange and The Russia Company​

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