This unusual name is of English locational origin from the village called 'Scothern' in the county of Lincolnshire. The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Scotstorne' and in 1203 as 'Scosthorne'. The derivation of the name is believed to be from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'Scott' which originally described an Irishman (!), but was later applied to the Gaels of Scotland, and particularly those of the Border Country. These ferocious clans raided Northern England upto the 17th century, penetrating as far south as East Anglia. It is said that 'Scothern' means 'the thorn-bush of the Scots' but more likely it referred to a Scottish camp with defensive wall of thorns. There are various spellings of the 'modern' surname including Scopyn, Scopham, Scoffham, Scuffham and Scothern, Scothron and Scothorn(e). Early examples of the surname recording include Robert Scowtherne of Reepham, Lincolnshire, whose daughter Bridget was christened there on October 10th 1600, Everardus Scothorne, christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on June 28th 1668, and Jonathon Scothorn recorded at Sheffield Cathedral on May 2nd 1790. The coat of arms associated with the surname and granted in Lincoln has the blazon of a silver field, on a chevron between three black cross-crosslets The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Scophorn, which was dated 1279, in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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