Recorded in many apparently associated forms including Screas, Screase, Screach, Screech, Screes, and Scritch, this is an English surname. It is probably topographical and if so describes somebody who was resident by a "scread", an area of rocks, although it may also be locational from an area such as Screes in the county of Northumberland. It is very unlikely to have originated as a nickname for one who was noisy or in Middle English "scritched", but this is possible with Scritch being one of the many forms of the surname. Locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. This could be the next village but more often was far away. Spelling being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, soon lead to the development of spellings which were often barely recognizable when compared with the original form. In this case the surname is well recorded in the diocese of Greater London from Elizabethan times, and examples include: Raphe Shreach, a witness at St Giles Cripplegate, on September 17th 1570, Robert Scrich, a witness at St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on March 19th 1637, Mary Screech, who married James Harding at St Lukes Finsbury, on January 18th 1792, and John Screas, who married Susanna Robson at St Mary-le-Bone, on February 27th 1809.
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