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The name Smith is derived from the Anglo-Saxon "smitan," to smite or strike. SMITH and its derivations are an occupational name for a man who works with metal (smith or blacksmith), one of the earliest jobs for which specialist skills were required. It is a craft that was practiced in all countries, making the surname and its derivations the most common of all surnames.

This web-site is primarily comprised of the Smiths of Yorkshire and Africa dating back to the mid-1600s. Some of the maternal branches of the family such as the Murrays and the Duggleby's date back considerably further than this however, but these are excluded as the information is available elsewhere.

The Smiths have shown themselves as a migrant lot, originating in Yorkshire, emigrating to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), then to South Africa, back to Rhodesia and eventually to Canada. The name Smith, being so common, is hard to trace, but with the added problem of all the moving around they did, the task became even more complicated. Even in the early days in Yorkshire the family, with some exceptions, seemed to move from farm to farm with regularity.

At this point, the only living Smiths that can be traced back to Yorkshire are myself, and my two sons Michael and Sean. The only other known direct descendents are my sister Rosemary Thompson (nee Smith) and her two sons Guy and Neil. There are, however, many Murrays, Langleys and Duggelbys that we are in touch with. Hopefully this web-site will lead to contact with others.

The Smiths of East Yorkshire
Updated September 4, 2005


Ian C Hornby-Smith

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