Surname Smithson - Meaning and Origin
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Smithson: What does the surname Smithson mean?
Smithson is an English surname derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal name “Smithesone” which means “son of Smith”, referring to an ancestor who was a smith or blacksmith. This name was commonly used throughout England from the 1300s until the present day. During the Middle Ages, blacksmiths were highly esteemed in the community and were considered to be an important craft. They made tools, implements and weapons, fixed items, and even created wrought-iron decorations.
The name Smithson can be found throughout English records, particularly in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and many Smithsons have lived in those regions for centuries. Among them are a long line of Smithsons who owned a large estate in Lancashire called Plumpton Hall or Plumpton House. Located near Lancaster, this estate remained in the family for several generations and was later inherited by the Earls of Derby in the 19th century.
The name Smithson has also been found in Scotland, where it is most notably associated with the well-known botanist and zoologist Patrick Matthew Smithson (1857–1944). He was a pioneer in the study of plant ecology and floral biology and made important contributions to the field of evolutionary biology.
Today, the surname Smithson is still in use in England, Scotland, Wales, and several other countries around the world. It can be found in many different variations including Smithsone, Smittson, Smythson, and Smithones.
Smithson: Where does the name Smithson come from?
Smithson is a surname of English origin. Smithson is predominantly found in the United Kingdom, especially in the northern counties such as Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. There is some distribution of Smithson in Didcot, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire. Smithson is also found in small numbers in Australia, especially in Victoria and New South Wales. In New Zealand, Smithson is well established in both the North and South Islands.
In the United States, Smithson can be found mainly in the states of Alabama, California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Ohio, as well as throughout the country in smaller numbers. Canada also has a McComas and Smithson population, particularly in Ontario and British Columbia. Smithson is also found in other countries such as France, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Turkey. The surname Smithson is also common in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.
Overall, Smithson is a common name in many countries around the world. Despite having ancient origins in England, Smithson is no longer limited to the British Isles and can be found in many different places. In the United States, Smithson is especially prominent in the eastern states, though it does have a presence in other states as well.
Variations of the surname Smithson
Variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for the surname Smithson include Smithsoun, Smithsunne, Smeethson, Smythson, Smythsonne, Smythesonne, Smytheson, Smythsonne, Smithsoune, Smithsoun, Smithsunne, Smithe, and Smitheman. The surname Smithson is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from the Middle English words ‘smyth’ meaning ‘smith’ and ‘sone’ meaning ‘son’, making it a patronymic surname; the name was originally borne by the son of a smith. In the modern day, there are typically three main spellings for the surname: Smithson, Smithsone and Smithe Son.
Smithson is likely to have been adopted as a surname by a family descending from a blacksmith or armourer, and as such, arising during Medieval times or even earlier. It may also have been adopted as a topographical surname or a nickname for someone living by a smithy or near a metal forge. Common spellings, variants and patronymic surnames of the same origin include Smithsone, Smetheheme, Smethehema, Smitheman, Smithmathe and Smitheman. As is common with patronymic surnames, many of these variants are combinations of the father's name and a suffix -man or -sama.
The Smithson family name was most likely found first in Scotland and then in northern England. Records of the name trace back to the 12th century in Scotland and 13th century in England. Notable figures of the Smithson family include Dr. William Smithson, the Chairman of the West Yorkshire Health Authority in the late 20th century; Hugh Knox-Smitson (1912-1941), an English First World War Victoria Cross recipient; and Sir William Smithson (1722-1767), an English merchant and politician.
Famous people with the name Smithson
- Samuel Smithson: Was the first American to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1956 for his work on healing polyptione- and polyformaldehyde.
- Charles Smithson: Was a member of the British Parliament in the mid-19th century.
- John Smithson: Was an English botanist who is credited with bringing plants from the new world to Europe.
- Jessie Smithson: Was an actress and modelled for several fashion magazines including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
- Jed Smithson: Was an American gunsmith who invented the first lever-action rifle.
- Bob Smithson: Was a British musician, songwriter and producer who had several hit songs in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Mary Smithson: Was a British architect whose works include the Salute Hospital and the London School of Economics.
- Oliver Smithson: Was an American actor known for his role in the TV series The O.C.
- Isabel Smithson: Was an American novelist who wrote several young adult novels, including the popular series The Secrets of Helensburgh.
- Sue Smithson: Was an English martial artist and teacher who is credited with developing the modern form of kickboxing.