This uncommon surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from Scupholme, a minor place in the Louth rural district of Lincolnshire, or from some place called Scupham in that county. The initial element "scup" derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "seacp, scep", cognate with the Old Scandinavian "scap", sheep, and the second is either the Olde English "holm" (Old Norse "holmr"), piece of land partly surrounded by streams, or the Olde English "ham(m)", "flat low-lying meadow on a stream", or "meadow surrounded with a ditch". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the spelling of the name which is found in Lincolnshire Church Registers as Scuppum (Tattershall, 1581); Scuppam (North Somercotes, 1592); and Schophom (Wrangle, 1616). On June 23rd 1594, Elzabeth, daughter of Ambrose Scupham, was christened at North Somercotes, Lincolnshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Scupham family is described thus, "Argent, a scoop sable with water in it wavy purple, between four leaves in saltire of the second." The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johis Scoppam, which was dated September 23rd 1576, a christening witness at Boston, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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