This interesting surname of Scottish origin with variant spellings Skea, Skae, Scay, Skay, Skaye, Skey, Skeye, etc. is a locational name from the lands of Skea in Deerness, or from Loch Skae, north east of New Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire. The surname dates back to the late 15th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Bernard of Ska who purchased a two mark land in Deldaill within Deirnes in 1505, and Sir James Scay was chaplain in Orkney in 1523, "The Orkney and Shetland Records". Church recordings include one Joanna Skey who married Thomas Williams on January 19th 1559, in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, and Elizabethe Skeye was christened on May 18th 1560, in Westbury on Trym, Gloucestershire. One Anthoni Skey married Jonne Renalds on July 8th 1580, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and Ellen Skey was christened at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, on August 9th 1639. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Magnus Sca, which was dated 1480, witness to the sale of a toft in Kirwall, during the reign of King James 111 of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. 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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