This interesting and long-established surname is of early medieval English and Gaelic origin, and is either an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac an Gheaire", from the elements "Mac" meaning "son of", and the personal name "Gheaire", from "giorr", short; hence "the son of the short man", or it can be from a nickname for a person of low stature, deriving from the Middle English "schort" (Olde English pre 7th Century "sceort"), meaning "short". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Richard le Sorte in the 1269 Assize Court Rolls of Somerset, and William Short in the 1273 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as Short, Shortt and Shorte. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Jacobi Short, on July 31st 1548, at St. Andrew Hubbard with St. Mary at Hill, and the christening of Ann, daughter of Thomas Short, on December 9th 1576, at St. Andrew's, Holborn. Ann Short, aged 27 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Yorkshire", bound for New York in April 1846. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is on a blue shield a gold griffin segreant between three gold estoiles, the Crest being a gold griffin's head between two blue wings charged with gold estoiles. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ordric Scort, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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