Usually recorded as Scudamore and Skidmore, this is a medieval locational surname. It originates from an now 'lost' medieval village called Scudamore, believed to have been situated in the county of Somerset, in the West Country. The meaning of the place name is obscure, but probably translates as low moor or similar. If so it might explain why it disappeared probably in the 16th century when a whole area of Somerset known as The Wetlands, was drained. Locational surnames were usually given either to the local lord of the manor and his, or sometimes her, descendants, or to former inhabitants who had moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The Scudamore family trace their descent from Ralph, who in 1086 resided at Upton in Wiltshire, whilst Walter de Scudamore was lord of Upton, in the reign of King Stephen of England 1135 - 1154. Skidmore was an early variant of the name with Peter de Skidemore being recorded in the Great Chartulary of Glastonbury, Somerset, in 1170. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Scudimore. This was dated 1167, in the Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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