This ancient and interesting surname is of Olde English and Norse-Viking origin. It is locational and derives from the village of Scackelton, seven miles from the market town of Helmsley, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. However almost all the early recordings are from the Halifax area of West Yorkshire, suggesting an 'emigration' took place in medieval times. The village name is from the Old Norse "skekill", meaning - a tongue of land and "tun", a settlement. Amongst the earliest recordings are those of Hugh de Shakeldene in the 1302 Subsidy Rolls of York, whilst Willelmus Shakelle appears in the 1379 Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire.Later church recordings include William Schakyltan of Halifax on November 23rd 1544, in the reign of Henry V111, and Agnes Shackleton of Swillington, Yorkshire, on January 29th 1552. Thomas Shaclden was christened at Keighley on August 8th 1597, whilst on September 28th 1822, Tamer Shackelton (Tamer or Tamar being a popular girls name) married Samuel Turner at Halifax Parish Church. Abraham Shackleton of York, descended from a prominent Quaker family settled in Ireland and opened a boarding-school there in 1726. Amongst his many famous pupils was Edmund Burke. Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 - 1922), the Antarctic explorer, was of the same County Kildare family. John Shackleton, the renowned court painter, executed portraits of George 11 and Queen Caroline from 1730. A Coat of Arms granted to the Shackleton family is a gold shield, on a red fess, three lozenge buckles of the field, the Crest being a green poplar tree. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Schacheliton, which was dated 1246, witness, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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