Recorded as Scott, and the patronymics Scotson, Scots and Scotts, the latter two being reduced patronymic forms of Scotson, this surname, widespread in the Brish Isles, is actually Olde English. It derives from the pre 7th Century word 'scota', which was originally used to denote an Irishman! Later in about the year 1000 a.d. it became the general term firstly for a Gael from Scotland, and then in the medieval period it was applied to anybody from 'north of the border'. An early example of the 'name' recording is that of Uchtred filius Scot, in the register of Kelso Abbey, Scotland, in 1120. He was witness to the foundation charter of Selkirk. In his work 'Scotland under her early Kings', Robertson notes that 'Scotus as much meant a Gael as Flandrensis meant a Fleming'. The Gaelic speaking people of Scotland it is said came originally from Ireland around the 5th century. Early recordings include Richard le Scot of Murthoxton who rendered homage in 1296. He was the first ancestor of the ducal house of Buccleuch and Queensberry. Later recordings include Ellen Scotson, christened at St Mary Abchurch, in the city of London, on December 20th 1561, and Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), novelist and poet, who was born at College Wynd, in Edinburgh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Scot, which was dated circa 1150, in "Documents relating to the Danelaw for Lincolnshire, England" during the reign of King Stephen, 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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