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Smith Tartan

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Motto: Luceo non uro (I shine not burn)

The name Smith, 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 the Blacksmith profession. Scottish ancestry should not be assumed without evidence of geographical or genealogical links. Even when it exists, 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, whether they were a harness-maker, armourer or general metal-worker, for such was their diversity that no Clan or Family had a monopoly. 

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; they being accepted by 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.  His descendants acquired other properties, including Braco, in the same county.

Other families became established in Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, and Stirlingshire.  Adam Smith (1723-1790) author of ‘The Wealth of Nations came from Kirkcaldy in Fife.  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 Crest and Motto of Clan Chattan.

Choose from one of the Smith Tartans listed below

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