William Smith

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Smith, William,

1769–1839, English geologist. Through direct observation as a canal-site surveyor, Smith made a systematic study of the geological strata of England and identified the fossils peculiar to each layer. He thereby introduced the method of estimating, from the fossils present, the age of geological formations. His large (8 1-2 ft × 6 ft/2.6 m × 1.8 m) and accurate geological map, titled A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with Part of Scotland (1815), was one of the first of its kind and was followed by similar maps of English counties. Smith is widely known as the father of English stratigraphic geology and field paleontology.


See S. Winchester, The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology (2001).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Smith, William


Born Mar. 23, 1769, in Churchill, Oxfordshire; died Aug. 28, 1839, in Northampton. English geodesist and geologist.

Smith is known for his works on the identification of Meso-zoic sedimentary rocks in southeastern England. These works laid the foundations for historical geology and stratigraphy as independent geological sciences. Smith showed that layers of sedimentary rocks exposed in different regions and not directly related can be correlated by the remains of the fossil organisms they contain. Fossils used for this purpose are known as index fossils. Between 1813 and 1815, Smith compiled the first geological map of England; in the map rocks were divided according to age. His discovery that strata can be identified by means of index fossils paved the way for the development of evolutionary ideas in paleontology.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Smith, William (Loughton)

(1758–1812) U.S. representative, ambassador; born in Charleston, S.C. Orphaned at age 12, he was sent to school in London where he became a lawyer in 1774. Returning in 1783, he became a congressman (Fed., S.C.; 1787–97), speculating in government scrip and supporting the federal bank. Ambassador to Portugal (1797–1801), he returned to his law practice and wrote political letters, "The Numbers of Phocion," for the Charleston Daily Courier.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Front: Oliver Smith, William Reid, Michael Allen, William Mumford, Nathan Steele, Daniel Mumford, James Dunwell.
The dead were cousins Stephen Vann and Michael Staniforth, Anthony Smith, William Annan, all 18, and 19-year-old Matthew Thompson.
NOVICE 14 YEARS AND UNDER: 1, Rebecca Smith, William; 2, Sophie Neasham, Ceara; 3, Jack Anderson, AJ; 4, Jack Duggan, Bryn; 5, Angus White, Logan; 6, Emily Wilson, Lily.
A sample of writers includes Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Felicia Dorothea Hemans, John Keats, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Smith, William Lawson and Richard Juul all failed to beat an Edinburgh rider throughout the match as the home side collected eight 5-1s and five 4-2s on their way to 65 points.
It includes work by British-based artist film-makers including Malcolm Le Grive, Peter Gidal, John Latham, Steve Dwoskin, Anthony McCall, Lis Rhodes, Sally Porter, John Smith, William Raban and Chris Welsby.
(zyhudd201008melthker); BRING IT ON: Kirkheaton Under 17s (back, from left): Paul Shuttleworth (manager), Patrick Renn, Alex Gibb, Luke Eastwood, Ryan O'Hara, Craig Smith, William Jennings, Jordan Preene.
Elected to the board were: Beverly Chorbajian, Gordon Davis, John Deedy, Jerry Lembcke, Larry Lifshitz, Marianne Smith, William Vogel, Earlena B.
Booked: Smith, Williams. PRESTON NORTH END: Rudd, Clarke, Bauer, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Gallagher (Green 74), Barkhuizen (Stockley 57), Browne, Potts (Bodin 57), Maguire.
FICTION p20 the top five most common surnames in Britain are Jones, Smith, Williams, Taylor and Davies.
NEWCASTLE UNITED U21S: Woodman, Trodd, Kitchen, L Smith, Pollock, Adu-Peprah, C Smith, Barlaser, McNall, Longstaff, Laidler, Subs: B Smith, Williams, Heaney, Spooner, Lowther