The Smithsons from Weardley are likely to have been one of many Northern English families that assumed the surname Smithson in early times. Some of these brought forth famous individuals, such as the Smithson baronets of Stanwick; Hugh Smithson who changed his name to Percy and was created 1st Duke of Northumberland; and James Smithson, who made possible the foundation of the Smithsonian Institute in America.
In contrast, the Smithsons from Weardley were an extended family of farmers, small business and working people whose earliest proven ancestor was William Smithson, a yeoman farmer who lived in the second half of the 16th century in Weardley, a small village near Harewood and Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. His father was most likely Thomas Smithson, yeoman of Weardley, born around 1500.
Their descendants spread into the neighbouring parishes of Bardsey and Adel, then across the valleys of the Rivers Wharfe and Aire. Some moved on to Lincolnshire, London and Wales; others sailed to America and Australia. The last of the Smithsons at Weardley died in 1903.
This website aims to explore their genealogy and their modest doings over the last five hundred years.