There are three possible sources of this unusual name, which is of Scottish, English and French origin, the first being a dialectal variant of Scott, a border name deriving from the Old English 'scot', which meant originally, an Irishman, but later becoming a Gael from Scotland. The 12th Century Scots of Eastern England may have been retainers of David 1 (1124 - 1153), who succeeded to extensive lands there, following his marriage to the Earl of Huntingdon's daughter. It is also thought that this surname may derive from the Old French 'escoute', from 'escouter', meaning, to listen, and used as an occupational name for a scout or a spy. Lastly, it may also be derived from the Middle English 'scut', meaning literally, the tail of a hare, and given to someone who was a swift runner, and an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. One William Scoates was christened on September 6th 1611 at St. John's, Thanet, Kent, and Mary Scoates on December 11th 1643, at St. Michael's, Bassishaw, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Scot, which was dated circa 1150, Danelaw Documents of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Stephen, 'Count of Blois', 1135 - 1150. 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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