This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place in the parish of Halifax, West Yorkshire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "scacol", tongue of land, cognate with the Old Norse "skekill", with "tun", enclosure, settlement. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and to the lord of the manor, and especially to those former inhabitants who left their place of origin to live and work in another area. One, Hugh de Shakeldene was noted in the 1302 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire, and on January 29th 1552 Agnes Shackleton and Arthur Chambers were married in Swillington, Yorkshire, while on January 27th 1554 Annes Shackleton married a John Shaw in Halifax.A notable Quaker family of the name settled in Ireland, and their famous boarding-school, opened by Abraham Shackleton of Yorkshire in 1726, had Edmund Burke as a pupil. 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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