This interesting surname may derive from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be a variant of pet form of "Sheedy", the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name "O'Sioda", the male descendant of (o) "Sioda", which is a nickname meaning "Silk". Many Irish people Anglicized their name when immigrating to England or America or even at home when applying for jobs in the adminstration, the enhance their prospects of pursuing a good career. The name may also be of Scottish topographical origin, for a "dweller by fairy hill", from the Gaelic word "sidh", "sith" or "shee", meaning fairy hill. The first recording of the surname is in Scottish records dating from the early 16th Century (see below). The London Church Registers first record the surname on August 18th 1618, when Elizabeth, daughter of George and Winifride Shead was christened at St. Andrew, Holborn. The first appearance of the surname in Scottish Church Records is on August 17th 1634 when Margaret, daughter of Jon and Marjorie Sched was christened at Edinburgh. One Alexander, son of Johne and Marioun Shed was christened in Edinburgh also on April 17th 1636. At St. Olave, Southwark, London, Beniamyn Shed was christened on May 11th 1645 while one Frederick Sheed was christened at St. Luke, Westminster on February 10th 1863. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Scheid, which was dated 1529, who was banished from Edinburgh, during the reign of King James V, "Ruler of Scotland", 1513 - 1542. 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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