Recorded in the spellings of Salkeld and Salkild, this is an English locational surname of early medieval origins. It derives from the twin villages called Salkeld in the county of Cumberland. The placename is first recorded in the register of the Priory of Wetherhal, as early as the year 1100, in the spelling of Salchild, and later in 1230 as Salkhul. There are at least two possible explanations for the meaning. The first is the sallow wood, from the Olde English pre 7th century 'salh', meaning sallow, a low-growing type of willow, and 'hylte', a wood, or possibly 'salh kelda', the salty spring. The villages of Great Salkeld and Little Salkeld are on opposite sides of the River Eden, near Kirk-Oswald, so both willows and springs are equally logical. Locational surnames were usually given to the local landowners, and later to former inhabitants who left their original homes to live or work in another area. Early examples of the recordings include: Richard Salkeld, in the list of students at the University of Oxford in the year 1610, but the very first recording of all is believed to be that of John de Salkild. This was dated 1292, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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