This page is dedicated to the history of the branch of the Smurthwaite family from Easington, North Yorkshire.

The Smurthwaite name is a relatively uncommon one, and appears to derive from one or more places of that name (from the Norse smar-thwayt meaning 'small clearing'). Examples of the placename survive in Cumbria and West Yorkshire, with many of the early examples of the surname (and the related names Smorthwaite, Smorfit, Smurfit and the like) occurring in Yorkshire. By 1881, the name was almost entirely concentrated in Durham and Yorkshire, suggesting that it was an occurrence of the placename in this area which gave rise to the surviving branches of the family. If you are interested in the branches of the Smurthwaite family in County Durham, please go direct to the Durham page.

John Smurthwaite and Dorothy Ferguson began something of a one-name study on the family in the 1990's, and at one stage their records incorporated just under 10,000 individuals, of whom almost 90% were connected into a series of trees. Unfortunately, Dorothy was unable to continue with family history research and John lost interest in the family, so this research is currently unavailable.

Henry Smurthwaite (also known as Smurfit or Smorfit) appears in Easington, North Yorkshire at his marriage to Mary Toes in 1781. His origins remain unclear, although there were Henry Smurthwaites in the area of Gilling near Richmond at an earlier date and another local branch with some circumstantial evidence of connection in the area around Malton, south of the Moors. Henry and Mary's descendants continued to flourish in the North Yorkshire Moors area down to the present, with at least one branch migrating (back ?) to the Malton area and one to West Hartlepool (where a separate Smurthwaite family also lived). An outline of what is currently known of their descendant tree is attached.



Anyone interested in further details of this branch of the Smurthwaite family, or who is able to provide additional details relevant to this branch, is invited to contact the coordinator for this page Ian Hall.


This page was last updated 16 May 2007