smit

1) A mark on the fleece of a sheep which identified the owner, a necessary practice where livestock from different farms or different townships used the same pasture grounds.

1593 to Stephen Harisonn the smitte of my sheep and to Richard Harisonn the ear mark of my sheep, Tosside. 1632 two hogges that hath a smitt of Tar on the shoulder, Kirby Underdale. It could be used as a verb: 1579 that every inhabitor shall smytt ther shepe which they fest with a buy smytt to be knowne from them which they kepe at home, Halton Gill.

dates 1579 1593 1632

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2) Probably an outbreak of black shale (EDD).

1714 a Black Smitt which … may lead to coal or worse, Colsterdale.

places Colsterdale
dates 1714

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0