This very interesting surname is of Middle English 13th century origins. It seems to have been widely recorded as far apart as Bedfordshire and Yorkshire, although as both these counties were on the original Great North Road, the prime route between London and Edinburgh, perhaps this is not so surprising. The eminent Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley considered that the origin was Olde English, and that it implied a spendthrift. Later researchers have been rather kinder suggesting that the original nameholder was perhaps a philanthropist, one who 'scattered his wealth for the common good'. This does seem more logical in that even in the robust medieval period when people accepted names of extreme vulgarity, which they don't seem to have minded, they do seem to have objected to names which rightly or wrongly, indicated that they were not in control of their lives. However it is quite impossible to give an exact translation, only those that were there can do that! Early examples of the name recording include Wimcot Schatregod of Bedford in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of that county, and Thomas Scatergude in Yorkshire in the same year. Richard Scatergood is recorded in the Patent Rolls of the third year of the reign of King Edward V1 (1547 - 1554), whilst in 1703 Henry Edwards married Elizabeth Scattergood at St James church, Clerkenwell, London. The surname is popular in the USA, and particularly Philadelphia, Joshua Scattergood marrying Elizabeth Wilson there on April 2nd 1742. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Scatergot, which was dated 1219, a witness at the Assize Courts of York, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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