As one of the most popular names in several English-speaking countries, “Smith” is a name that has a wide range of different origins. While this surname might be considered by some to be basic or standard, those who carry this name make up a large percentage of the population. And that’s certainly a reason to celebrate!
So get on board with paying some respect to those named “Smith” because it’s time to get involved with National Smith Day!
History of National Smith Day
The name “Smith” might have a variety of different origins, based on the language it evolves from. In Old English, the name would have come from a word that meant something like a blacksmith, or a person who worked with metal. This may have originally been a person called “Smid”.
Smith is now the most common name in five different nations, including the US and Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as the United Kingdom. Those who have heritage from England, Scotland or Ireland are particularly likely to have this last name. Other spellings and versions of this name might include Smythe, Smyth, Smith, and even Smit.
Because the name, Smith, was based on such a common occupation, there is really no ability to trace the family line back to a location or specific family simply by using the name. Instead, folks who go by the name of Smith will need to use their family tree, ancestry research or DNA samplings to discover more about what their heritage might be.
But what is kind of great about the name Smith is that it also has been combined with a variety of other names. When used as a prefix at the start of a name, the term “smith” was sometimes used to indicate a worker of some sort, but in other cases it might have indicated a son. So an additional number of people could celebrate this day if they go by the names Goldsmith, Nesmith, Candlesmith, Silversmith and many others.
National Smith Day was established in 1994 when Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith launched it. And the reason the day is celebrated on January 6? That is because Koopersmith wanted to honor Captain John Smith, who was born on this day in 1580 and who helped settle the colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
One additional fun fact about National Smith Day is that it also falls on the birthday of a man named Jedediah Strong Smith. He was born in New York and was one of the earliest folks to explore the American West in the early 1800s, helping to start the Oregon Trail and also believed to be the first to make it to California over the land.
National Smith Day offers all sorts of opportunities for folks to join in on the fun, paying heed to various people named Smith and honoring those, living or dead, who represent the name well!
How to Celebrate National Smith Day
Have loads of fun and discover some new connections by participating in and celebrating National Smith Day! Check out some of these ideas and activities to get started with:
Throw a National Smith Day Party
It certainly shouldn’t be difficult to find a large group of folks who are connected with the name Smith, especially if you can invite all of the relatives who have the same name! But whether it is used as a maiden name, a hyphenated name, or even a first name, it’s time for these people to gather together and have a blast! Even if they have nothing in coming but their name, it can be a good foundation to start with, and then build up from there.
At the party, feel free to play some entertaining games that use the name Smith as answers to trivia questions. It can be a delightful way to learn something and win along the way in honor of National Smith Day!
Create Some Family Name Art
Those who are named Smith, Smythe or some other version of the name can raise the banner high and be proud of their name! And National Smith Day might be the ideal time to show it off through some family name artwork. This might be a framed piece of calligraphy with the name on it, or it could include an item ordered from the internet that includes etymology of the name or some other features.
Search That Family Tree
For those who aren’t sure if they have the name of Smith somewhere in the background of their family tree, perhaps National Smith Day would be a good time to search that ancestry website to find out! Or, study up on the family tree by calling grandma or an aunt who may have some more family records that indicate maiden names that may have been dropped or changed as the family names have been passed down.
Make a National Smith Day Playlist
Get a bit jiggy on National Smith Day by creating a playlist that includes a variety of songs that include various references to the word “Smith”. It might be a bit challenging, but music lovers and fanatics can have tons of fun with it. Check out some of these songs by artists with the name Smith to get started with:
- There is a Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths (1990). This British indie rock band got its start in the 80s and had a big influence on the alternative genre of music. Singer Morissey went on to be solo and, incidentally, none of the four band members were actually named Smith.
- Stay With Me by Sam Smith (2014). Not surprisingly, the name Sam Smith is that of an English singer and songwriter who started a rise to fame in 2012.
- Baby It’s You by Smith (1969). This American rock band based out of Los Angeles had a blues feel with Gayle McCormick as their lead singer.
- Because the Night by Patti Smith (1978). This American singer, songwriter and poet was one of the strongest women musicians of the 70s and 80s punk movement in New York City.