National Smith Day – January 6, 2022

If you can believe it, National Smith Day is on January 6, and no, it’s not a day to celebrate blacksmiths, but rather to celebrate those who have the last name ‘Smith’ or one containing ‘Smith’. Smith is one of the most popular names in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith founded the day in 1994.

History of National Smith Day

The name Smith originated in England and Ireland but has been popularized across continents. Now, almost three million people in the United States have a Smith in their name.

The name Smith actually refers to a smith, be it a goldsmith, locksmith, or blacksmith. The use of Smith dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, and was a surname derived from the occupation. Ecceard Smith of County Durham was recorded in 975. Many later Smiths had no connection to the occupation, but either adopted or were given the surname.

Since it was an extremely common name, it became usual for people in English-speaking countries to adopt the surname Smith, in order to maintain a secret identity. During the colonization of North America, Native Americans would take the name for use in dealing with colonists. Many slaves were known by the surname of their masters, or adopted those surnames upon their freedom, and in the World Wars, many German Americans anglicized the surname ‘Schmidt’ or ‘Schmitz’ to Smith to avoid discrimination.

These all led to the vast popularization of the name and in 1994, another Smith decided to make it a whole day! Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith created this day to honor people with the name Smith, and chose the particular date because it’s quite an important one in Smith history. 

Captain John Smith was baptized on the date in 1580, and since his exact birth date is unclear, the date is commonly used as his birth date. He led the Jamestown colony settlers in 1607 and was one of the first Smiths to live in America. This day also marks the birthdate of Jedediah Strong Smith, who is believed to have been the first American to get to California by land.

National Smith Day timeline

975 A.D.
The First Recorded Smith

Ecceard Smith of County Durham is recorded.

1580
Captain John Smith

One of the first Smiths in America, Captain Smith is born on January 6.

1799
Jedediah Strong Smith

Smith, the first American to get to California by land, is born on January 6.

1994
Smith Day is Created

Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith creates National Smith Day.

National Smith Day FAQs

What is National Smith Day?

Its creator, Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith chose the date of celebration. One of the first Smiths in America, Captain John Smith was born on this day in 1580. It is a day dedicated to celebrating all people with the Smith name.

What is the origin of Smith?

Smith is a surname that originated in England and Ireland. It is now the most prevalent surname in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, and the fifth most common surname in the Republic of Ireland.

What does the name Smith mean?


Originally, Smith was an occupational name for a worker in metal, and before its popularization, only people within the occupation had those names.

National Smith Day Activities

  1. Do whatever you like

    Do you have Smith in your last name? Then this day is for you! Do whatever you like, and whatever makes you happy on a day dedicated to you.

  2. Read about popular Smiths

    See what all the fuss is about by reading about popular Smiths in history. We’ve given you a headstart, but there are still so many other popular Smiths who have done amazing things in history. Read about them today.

  3. Do something nice for a Smith

    If you aren’t a Smith, you can still join in on the fun. With the popularity of the name, you probably know a Smith. Today, do something nice for them. Give them a call, invite them over, or take them out to lunch. Whatever you do, just make sure a Smith feels special today because of you.

5 Interesting Facts About Captain John Smith

  1. A star in a Disney animation

    John Smith inspired one of the major characters in “Pocahontas,” the Disney animated film.

  2. He actually knew Pocahontas

    Pocahontas traveled to London in 1616 and met Smith during her time there.

  3. He was captured by French pirates

    While mapping the coast of Massachusetts, he was captured by French pirates and later escaped, making his way back to England.

  4. Historians think his Pocahontas story is false

    Many historians question the truth of Smith's account of his rescue by Pocahontas because he was the only English eyewitness and there was no written record.

  5. His final colonization attempt fell short

    He made one final colonizing attempt in 1617, but due to a lack of wind, his vessels were unable to leave port for three months, causing him to never set sail.

Why We Love National Smith Day

  1. There is a Smith for everyone

    The Smith name is so popular that almost everyone knows or is associated with a Smith. This means, there is a Smith for everyone, and we love having them around.

  2. They are monumental in American history

    Without people like Captain John Smith and Jedediah Strong Smith, certain states in America would probably not have been founded. This makes them an important part of English and American history.

  3. We can all be like the Smiths

    The creation of the day sends encouragement. The creator of National Smith Day itself, Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith might not have such a monumental history as those whom the day honors, but she was the originator of the day. This serves as proof that with enough valid evidence and significance, we can all create days after our names or interests.

National Smith Day dates

YearDateDay
2021January 6Wednesday
2022January 6Thursday
2023January 6Friday
2024January 6Saturday
2025January 6Monday

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