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Scottish Smith Coat Of Arms

In Gaelic it is: Ghobhain. Pronounced as 'go-wan'.

Smith is an old Occupational Surname meaning 'the smith, blacksmith, or farrier'. Early examples are common in the Latin form Faber.
The first registration of the surname is found as Ecceard Smid in the year 975 A.D. from County Durham in the Old English Bynames of Tengvik.
Alfword pe Smith is listed in 100 A.D. from Somersetshire and William Le Smyth in the Assize Rolls of Somersetshire in 1275 A.D. From Sussex we find William atte Smithe and Thomas de la Smythe in the year 1313 A.D.

Also, in 1332, Robert atte Smyth is registered in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, his name meaning 'worker at the smithy'.
This surname is common to every village in England north, south, east and west. The 'y' in Smyth is the almost invariable spelling in early rolls, so that it cannot exactly be styled a modern affectation.

Still other ancient variations and derivatives that have been located include; Philip Le Smethe from Huntingdonshire in 1273, William Le Smeth from County Oxford, Willelmus Smyght from Yorkshire in 1379 and Ricardus Sawdre Smyght in the same year. The most common spellings of the surname used today include'
Smith Smyth Smythe Smithe Smye

The Smith family originated in Scotland, namely south-east Scotland, in the thirteenth century. Although the family did have its own registered
Coat of Arms, this coat is not to be confused with the two clan affiliations the Smith family had, one to MacPherson and the other to MacFarlane.


The Smith Coat of Arms may be found registered in "The General Armory" by Sir Bernard Burke, a world renowned authority on coat-armour for the British Isles. It is recorded from Camno, County Forfar, Scotland and in the language of the ancient heralds the heraldicblazon of arms for Smith reads;

Quarterly, 1st and 4th, argent, a ship in distress in a sea in base proper; 2nd, or, a crescent gules, 3rd, azure a cat sejant, the dexter paw extended argent.

An anchor proper


"Hold Fast"


This portion of information will describe, define and interpret the colours and symbols incorporated into the Smith Coat of Arms in orderof their appearance in the heraldic blazon of arms. The Smith shield is referred to as;

This heraldic term is applied when two or more Coats of Arms shields are incprporated onto one. This was done to record marriage alliances, rank of office, and other important events.

Is the metal silver in blazonry and denotes nobility, sincerity and peace. Silver has also been associated with the qualities of purity and chastity because it withstands the test of fire. This precious metal is connected with the moon, water, and the feminine element. Second metal in power, it signifies royalty and fame.

The ship depicted in the 1st and 4th quarters would point to some notable expedition by sea, by which perhaps the first bearers had become famous. The ship is said to be "proper" or depicted in its natural colours.
(the 1st and 4th quarter indicates a demasted ship, some interpretation to be a disaster at sea during a storm.)

Is gold in heraldry and originatesfrom the precious metal attributing surpassing valour to the bearer. It denotes generosity and elevation of mind. From liturgical symbolism, gold has acquired the attributes of celestial light, joy, and honour. It represents the perfection of matter.
Gold is the colour of sunlight and thus symbolic of all that is superior and divine in the same sense that the sun refers to the source of all purity, holiness and goodness. The connection between gold and the sanctity of kings is a very ancient one deeply rooted in the belief that gold symbolized a state of glory. From this symbolism gold has come to suggest domination.

The crescent is one of the bearings imported into heraldry as a token of the Crusades. It is said to signify one who has been "enlightened and honoured by the gracious aspect of his sovereign". It is also borne as the symbol of a "Hope of Greater Glory".
(Also denotes differences in cadency to indicate the various sons in a family---a crescent with the horns pointed up indicates a second born. A crescent within a crescent indicates a second son of the second house.)

Is the heraldic tincture for red and represents fire. It carries both a negative and positive image of war. In military application, this colour signifies fortitude and magnanimity. In general, the colour red denotes valour, patriotism, and creative powers.

Is blue in heraldry and representative of fidelity, truth and loyalty. The colour of the sky and sea, blue is the image of dept and of certain purity. It is positive and in opposition to evil forces.

The cat was once the emblem of the Dutch nation and signifies liberty, vigilance, forecast and courage. The MacPherson clan has the cat-a-mountain as their symbol.

This symbol siginifies succour in extremity and is also the Chrisitian emblem of hope, in which latter sense it is usually borne in armory. The anchor is said to be "proper" or depicted in its natural colour instead of in a heraldic tinture. When a heraldic symbol is depicted "proper" it means that no further meaning other than that of the symbol is attached to it not as if it had been coloured in red, in which case the significance of the colour red would also have been added along with anchor's own meaning.


Your family coat of arms is comprised of several different sections. At the very top of your arms is the CREST. The crest yields in honour to none of the heraldic insignia. It is named by the French Cimier, meaning the top or apex, and originated in the necessity of distinguishing one chief from another and making him known in the battlefield and the tournamnet. As early as the year 1101, a seal of Philip, Count of Flanders, represents himself with a crest. For a century and a half later few of lesser degree than sovereigns and commanders in the wars ventured to carry this mark of distinction. At their first adoption, crests were usually assumed from some symbol in the shield and thus we find the crest a mere emanation of the arms. Originally, crests were carved of light wood or made of boiled leather passed into a mould and fastened to the helmet by the torce or wreath. The TORCE was formed by two pieces of silk twisted together six times by the lady who chose the bearer for her knight.

The HELM , the natural accompaniment of the shield in representating a warrior, was added to the arms before the beginning of the 14th century. It is usually one of simple design unless the family is of noble descent in which case the helmets vary according to rank and were registered along with the coat of arms. Flowing out from the helmet on either side of the battleshield is the mantle cloth.

The MANTLE CLOTH is named from the French word Manteau meaning "coat". Originally, it was the coat protecting the helmet and armour from the elements of heatc cold, and rain, thus preserving the accoutrements from rusting. When coats of arms were first depicted by an artist, the mantle, which in actuality hung lifelessly around the shield, was sketched with great flourish and imangination. The practice of embroidering the family insignia on the surcoat worn over the armour gave rise to the term COAT OF ARMS.

The escutcheon or SHIELD on your coat of arms is an exact replica of the battleshield carried by the warrior into battle. A characteristic of early armorial bearings is the simplicity and boldness of design and the strong contrast of colours. They fulfilled the primary purpose of readily indicating the identity of the bearer even in the confusion of battle. A battle might be won or lost depending on how quickly an approaching steel-grey mass of warriors could be identified from their shields and banners. Coats of arms were not used in wars until the Holy Crusades (1096-1271) after which their registration bcame more numerous and elaborate.

The MOTTO is, "a word, saying or sentence which gentlemen carry in a scroll under the arms and sometimes over the crest." Mottoes may be changed when and as often as the bearer thinks fit. However, pride of ancestry induced most men to retain, unaltered, the time-honoured sentiment that had been handed down from father to son through a long series of generations. This motto could have been adopted as the memorial of some noble action, or some memorable war-cry or perhaps a record of some ancient family descent.
More Heraldric Description On Coats Of Arms