It has been suggested that the origins of this interesting name lie in the Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian word for "scythe man", a grass cutter, but as the Old English word for scythe is "sigthe", the more likely source of origin is from either the Old English "scydd" meaning "shed", possibly used by a dairy man for his animal and the second element "mann", the Old English word for man, hence, the man who minded the animals in the shed. The surname first appears in records in the London church registers in early 17th Century, (see below).At St. Olave, Southwark, London, Margaret, daughter of Edward Skeamon on November 11th 1641, while at St. Margaret in the Field, Westminster Alexanders, son of Francisci and Mariae Skeman was christened on August 16th 1668. The Yorkshire church register record the following entries: Alice, Elizabeth and John, children of George Skayman were christened at Skeckling with Burstwick, on November 16th, 1721, July 12th 1724 and June 26th 1726, respectively: Frances Skayman married William Hart here also on April 20th 1731. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Scaman, married Ellen Salmon, which was dated February 26th, 1621, at St. Bride, Fleet Street, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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