The Clan History
The name is first recorded in south-east Scotland during the 13th century. and means 'worker in iron'. Famous Smiths include:
Adam Smith (1723-90), the political economist
James Smith (1789-1850), inventor of the thorough drainage system of agriculture
William Robertson Smith (1846-94), scholar and theologian
Sydney Goodsir Smith (1915-75) poet during the Scottish Renaissance,
Iain Crichton Smith (b.1928), poet and novelist
SMITH: This name, in its varying forms, is one of the most common surnames in Britain, and was adopted by many persons or families who pursued the various facets of that profession. Scottish ancestry should not be assumed without evidence of geographical or genealogical links. Even when such is established, care should be taken to ascertain the identity of the dominant Clan or Family of the area of origin as most Highland communities possessed a smith, be they a harness-maker, armourer or general metal-worker, for such was their diversity that no Clan or Family had a monopoly of their adherence. Traditionally, many Smiths are given as a sept of the Clan Macpherson, a principal clan within the Confederation of Clan Chattan. According to legend, these Smiths, or Gows - the Gaelic equivalent, were known as 'Slioch Gow Chruim' (the race of the hunchbacked smith), and are reputedly descendants of a 'smith' of Perth who was enlisted to fill a vacant place in the Clan Chattan ranks when they participated in the celebrated 'trial by combat' on the North Inch at Perth in 1396. While this tradition has never been substantiated, it is still possible that a number of Smiths with a Badenoch origin, may stem from the 'Slioch Gow Chruim'. The names Gowan, and MacGowan - 'son of the smith', are of similar origin, and clan affiliation should be sought with equal care for, traditionally, they are also accepted by the Clan Donald. Outwith the areas of clan influence other 'Smiths' became landholders of consequence. In Perthshire, Smythes held Methven Castle, of whom Thomas Smythe was principal physician to James III c.1477 - descendants acquired other properties, including Braco, in the same county. Other families became established in Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, and Stirlinshire. Of the latter, John Smith of Craigend in Strathblane founded Scotland's, oldest surviving bookshop c.1750. From Kirkcaldy in Fife the genius of Adam Smith (1723-1790), author of 'The Wealth of Nations', spread forth to dominate the thoughts of political economists.
TARTANS: There are two Smith tartans, one was originally the Gow, Hunting which became adopted as a Smith tartan and the second was designed for Sir William Smith who was the founder of the Boys' Brigade. There is no chief of this name so it is appropriate to adopt the TARTAN, CREST and MOTTO of CLAN CHATTAN.
Motto: Luceo Non Uro - I Shine Not Burn
Names associated with the clan: Gove Gow Gowan Gowans Gowen Gowie Gowin Smeayth Smith Smyith Smyithe Smyth Smythe
Present your clan badge/crest in a most unique and attractive way by choosing a Scottish Clan Shield by Rowan Heraldic Shields!