Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Mrs Mary Antonello
In early 1940’s Melbourne, Australia, a careers counsellor called the name of his next new client – “SMOUT” - and two people stood up. Grace Mary Smout was the person he was to see, and after her interview, Grace Mary and her mother left to return to their country town of Dookie, 140 miles north of the city.
Glancing at the next file, the counsellor turned to his receptionist saying he’d already seen the Smouts. He was told there was another one.
Donald James Smout was the next client, and was asked whether Grace Mary was his twin sister – they were both born 15 March 1926. Don did have a sister named Grace, but she was younger, and her middle name was Lillian. This Smout family lived in Melbourne.
The careers counsellor became very excited about the coincidence - two unrelated Smouts born the same day, having consecutive appointments with him! He said they "should call the papers!” He managed to arrange a meeting between Don and Grace Mary, and the rest is history. Don and Grace happily married, and were wonderful parents. I’m the middle child of their five, and I like to call myself Smout Squared.
Don began researching both Smout families, perhaps at first because he and Grace had to prove they were unrelated before they could marry. Don’s Smouts were Welsh, and arrived in Victoria, Australia in 1854. Grace’s parents were English Smouts who arrived in Victoria in 1924.
Don’s research continued until age and illness overcame him. He was a member of the Genealogical Society of Victoria, and collaborated with family members, including a cousin who now shares her experience, research and discoveries with me.
When we sorted out the family home after Mum and Dad had gone, my siblings handed me Dad’s family history paperwork, saying I was the most pedantic of us all, so best suited to the task! Then, each piece of paper I discarded was carefully scrutinized by at least one of my siblings, to make sure it wasn’t important. I'm sure attention to detail disease is hereditary!
Dad would have been thrilled with the many genealogy resources available to us now. I've digitised all his work, and continued his research on and off. I've realised I need to be much more organised and methodical in my research. Having come across a One-Name Study when searching for Kemp ancestors some years ago, I discovered the Guild, and am very pleased to find such a wealth of knowledge and experience is available. It's time to get serious now!
I aim to research Smouts and their families worldwide, and hope to find the common ancestor of my parents. DNA studies have proved their Welsh Smouts and English Smouts are related. Dad was Donald James Smout, born 15 March 1926, and Mum was Grace Mary Smout (nee Smout), also born 15 March 1926, but 130 miles further north.
Smout is the only name I have registered for study, but there are a number of possible variants.
Smoot is by far the most commonly occurring variant, with up to eight times the frequency of Smout in the records I have surveyed, most of them in America. William Smute was an immigrant to America in the early 1600s. He also appears in many records as William Smoot, and his Smoot descendants are many.
DNA studies have proved that my family's English and Welsh Smouts are related to the Smoot families in America.
Some other possible variants or deviants are Smowt, Smont, Smote, Smot and Smut.
DNA testing of men from each side of our family has proved that our English Smouts and Welsh Smouts are related. They have a common male ancestor some hundreds of years in the past. These test results, along with those of several American Smoots, resulted in the recognition and naming of a new Y-DNA subclade. Testing more widely within the families may clarify how far back in time we are related.
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