This rare surname is an excellent example of a transposed dialectal spelling. The name is locational, and derives either from a now "lost" medieval site, or from Skelgill, villages in North Yorkshire and Westmorland. The village name translation is from the Norse "skallr" meaning "roaring, resounding", plus "gil", a ravine, and dates back to the Viking invasions of the pre 7th Century. The intrusive "d" in the modern spelling form is a "southern" introduction caused by dialectal change. There are a wide variety of spellings suggesting that at some point in history, the inhabitants of the villages were dispossed by their landlords, and being both penniless and illiterate created new spelling forms. In this case, Skydall, Seedull, and Scedall were early forms, and church records included the following examples: Richard Scedull, recorded in York, on May 20th 1578, whilst on March 20th 1607, a Christopheri Scedall was noted in the Parish of Swillington, Yorkshire. The "link" with the modern form may be James Skedell, of Shoreditch, London, who was recorded on September 15th 1846, in the reign of Queen Victoria. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Skyddall, which was dated August 1st 1568, marriage to Agnes Churcheman, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, 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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