Recorded in several spellings including Skade, Skaid, Scad, Scade, Sked, and in the 17th century, Scud, this is a Scottish surname from the Highlands region. It is a derivation of the pre 8th century Norse-Viking word "skeid" meaning a racecourse, and would originally have described somebody who lived or worked by such a place. Horse Racing was the most popular sport of the Vikings, and it is perhaps surprising that the surname is not more popular. The earliest recordings of the surname are from opposite ends of the United Kingdom, and include such examples as James Skaid, who in the year 1600 was the tenant of the mill of Dunatye, whilst in 1636, one Alexander Scad was charged with treason.The clan MacGregor was outlawed in 1613, and it appears that he, with others "of a like ilk", tried to re-instate it without authority! The name seems to have travelled to London about the same time. Robert Scud being a witness at St. Botolphs church, Bishopgate, on July 1st 1647. Later on November 23rd 1690, at the same church, John Skade married Jane Ashbourn. The name is well recorded in the north of England from the end of the 18th century. One of the earliest examples being that of Robert Skade, a witness at Christ Church, Salford, Manchester, on June 10th 1809. The first known recording of the surname in any spelling is probably that of Helene Skayde of Millades, near Braemar, Scotland in 1588. This is in the records of Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, during the reign of King James V1 of Scotland, and 1st of England, 1587 - 1625.
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