Smith, Smyth, Smythe, Mac Gabhann, Mac Gowan An Irish, English and Scottish surname. The Gaelic surname means ‘son of the smith’. A sept that originated in Cavan. A sept of Clann an Ghobhann of Clare who were hereditary historians to the ó Lochlainn of Burren. A sept of Clann an Ghobhann of Tipperary who were hereditary historians to ó Cinnéide (O’Kennedy) of Ur Mhumhan (Ormond). An English surname of occupation. Smith was adopted by, and by the descendants of blacksmiths. Blacksmiths were to be found in every town or manor in England. A tenant often held his land on condition of performing such duties. The variation of spelling as between ‘Smith’ and ‘Smyth(e)’ was a result of the interchangeability of ‘i’ and ‘y’ in Old English. It is the most numerous surname in both England and Scotland. In 1890 Smith was the fifth most numerous surname in Ireland, the estimated number of bearers was 33,700, and it was the most numerous surname in Antrim. In that year the surname was found in every county. It was principally found in Antrim, Cavan and Dublin. In the United States Smith is the most numerous surname with an estimated 2,766,500 bearers. In England and Wales in 1996 it was the most numerous surname. In Scotland in 1995 it was the most numerous surname.
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