Tommy asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 9 years ago

What nationality is the name Goldsmith?

My mothers maiden name is Goldsmith, and I was curious what nationality/heritage that name came from?

3 Answers

  • Tina
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Goldsmith Name Meaning and History

    English: occupational name for a worker in gold, a compound of Old English gold ‘gold’ + smið ‘smith’. In North America it is very often an English translation of German or Jewish Goldschmidt.

    Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

    Goldsmith Surname

    This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from an occupational name for a worker in gold, derived from a compound of the Olde English pre 7th Century "gold", similar to the Old High German "gold", and the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "smith", from the Olde English "smith", a smith, probably a derivative of "smitan", to strike, hammer. To a large extent it is an Anglicized form of the German "Goldschmid(t)". Metal-working was one of the earliest occupations for which specialist skills were required, and its importance ensured that these terms and their cognomens and equivalents were perhaps the most widespread of all occupational surnames in Europe. The surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century, and early recordings of the surname include: Thomas Goldsmith, witness in the 1255 Assize Rolls of Essex; and John le Goldesmethe in the 1309 "Calendar of Letter Books of Devonshire". Probably the best known namebearer was Oliver Goldsmith (1728 - 1774), the Irish poet, dramatist and novelist, whose works include the novel "The Vicar of Wakefield" (1766), the poem "The Deserted Village" (1770), and the comedy "She Stoops to Conquer" (1773). A Coat of Arms granted to a Goldsmith family in Hampshire is a red shield, a chevron silver three crosses crosslet black on a chief gold, a lion passant red, the Crest being a stork black bezantee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Goldsmiz, which was dated 1250, in the "Middle English Surnames of Occupation", Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Read more:

    Goldsmith Surname

    This surname of GOLDSMITH was a Jewish and German metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold, a refiner, jeweler or gilder. It was also a nickname for someone with bright yellow hair, with reference to the color of metal. The Old personal name persisted into the Middle Ages as a given name. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GOOLD, GOLD, GILDER, GOLDERBURG, GOLDENFELD, GOLDLAND, GOLDSTERN and GYLLENHAMMAR, to name but a few. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicized. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A notable member of the name was Meier Aaron GOLDSCHMIDT (1819-87) the Danish journalist and novelist, born in Vordingborg, of Jewish parentage. He founded a satirical periodical 'Corsaren' in 1940. He also wrote his autobiography in 1877.

    The Goldsmith surname is an English occupational name for a worker in gold, a refiner, jeweler or gilder…a compound of Old English gold ‘gold’ + smið ‘smith’. It was also a nickname for someone with bright yellow hair, with reference to the color to metal.

    Source(s): Sources in text of answer.
  • trixi
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Nationality Of A Name

  • 9 years ago

    It is a common English form of a use name - someone, when last names were coming in to fashion, was in fact smithing gold. But the name may have stuck even as the family changed professions, or crossed borders, so it does not give you any absolute information of how long the family was English.

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