Smallwood Surname Project- Background
The surname Smallwood most probably developed as a means of identifying individuals who lived in a particular location, either a village named Smallwood or a small, wooded area. Because there are likely to be many small, wooded areas in any given region, the use of the Smallwood surname in this context would not have been particularly helpful. Consequently, the connection with a village is the most likely origin of the surname. The following extract is not definitive, but is the most substantive assessment that the project administrator is aware of. Please send in any alternatives
"The surname Smallwood is, by general agreement, a locality surname derived from the township of Smallwood in the parish of Astbury, Cheshire. This origin is supported to a large extent by the distribution of the surname within the UK...The name is quite prominent in Yorkshire, and there is a possible alternative origin for the name in the area of Smalwode in the parish of Ravenfield, West Yorkshire, documented in a land grant of 1337 (YASRS 102 Page 90 Deed 258). There is also a possible alternative locational origin for the name in Staffordshire. The locality of Smallwood, 1 1/2 miles WSW of Marchwood, in whose parish it lies, is an estate and hamlet first mentioned in 1382 (apparently in a reference to an Elizabeth de Smalwode)"
We encourage any of the following to join:
Males with the Smallwood surname or any variant spelling
A goal of a surname project is to combine Y-DNA test results and a genealogical paper trail to identify common ancestry and a common point of origin. Since, Y-DNA is passed from father to son or, more specifically, from male Smallwood to male Smallwood, the best and clearest data for our goal comes from the Y-DNA of male Smallwoods, OR
Females related to a male with the Smallwood surname or any variant spelling
Females are encouraged to join the project provided that their male Smallwood relative (father or brother, father's brother or father's brother's son, paternal grandfather or grandfather's brother, etc.) provides the sample for Y-DNA testing. Contact the project administrator for guidance on the procedure, OR
Anyone who can demonstrate a high-quality Y-DNA match with a male with the Smallwood surname or any variant spelling
In the early days of the development of surnames, one brother might have come to be known as the "William from Smallwood" while another brother might have become known as "Thomas the Smith". Both inherited the same Y-DNA from their father and passed that Y-DNA on to their male descendents and both were born in the same place, but each had a different surname and passed that surname on to their descendents. Consequently, the only way to deduce a common ancestor is when a male Smith's Y-DNA matches with a male Smallwood's Y-DNA.