This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Norman French origin, and is derived from a nickname for a long-legged man, a man with a wooden leg, or an occupational name for a maker of stilts, from the Anglo-Norman French, Old Norman French "escache", Old French "eschace", Modern French "echasse", a stilt, plus the intensive suffix "-ard", or "-er". Nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of occupations, and to personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, and to habits of dress. The surname is first recorded in the early 14th Century (see below), while other early recordings include Thomas Scochard (Kent, 1336) and John Scacharde (Staffordshire, 1381). The name is now found chiefly in the eastern counties, especially Lincolnshire; Marget Scatcher married Richard Milner at Kirkby on Bain, on July 7th 1622. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Mary Sketcher and Salomon Bowles on December 6th 1609, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, and the christening of Jasper, daughter of John and Sarah Sketcher, on June 29th 1656, at St. Mary Woolnoth. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Skacher, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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