Recorded as Scorton, Scawton, Scurton, Skerton, Skirton, and possibly others, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either the village of Scorton in Lancashire or more usually the famous example of Scorton, near Catterick in North Yorkshire. This village is the 'home' of the archery competition known as 'The Scorton arrow', a contest to find the best archer in England which dates back some seven hundred years. The place name and hence the later surname translates as 'The settlement (tun) by a ravine' from the pre 7th century Norse-Viking word 'skor', and both places are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Locational surnames are 'from' names, and this is no exception. They were names usually given to people as easy identification, after they left their original homes, to live somewhere else. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case early recordings include James Skerton also recorded as Skirton, at St Peters church, Leeds, Yorkshire in 1620, and Mary Scorton, who was christened at St Pancras Old Church, in the city of London, on May 17th 1747.
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