This most interesting surname may have arisen from either of two possible sources. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a nickname for someone with broad shoulders, or some peculiarity of the shoulders, from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "sculdor", meaning shoulder. There is also a possibility, however, that the surname may be a variant of "Shouler, Shoveller", which is a metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of shovels or for someone who regularly used a shovel in his work, from the Olde English element "scofl", and Middle English "schovel", derivatives of "scufan", to push, shove. The surname from the former source first appears in the early 12th Century (see below), while other early examples of the surname include: Robert Schuldre (Norfolk, 1275); William le Schovelere (Oxford, 1301); Simon Shulder (Sussex, 1327); and Nicholas Shouler, Schoveler (Essex, 1366). In the modern idiom the variants of the name include Shouler, Showler, Shoulders and Shoveller. Mary Shoulder, daughter of John Shoulder, was christened on November 27th 1594 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, while Margaret Shoulder married Stephen Mount on September 17th 1638 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ran Sculdur, which was dated circa 1100, in the "Old English Bynames of Devon", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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