Recorded as Sket, Skett, Skitt, Skeat, Skeats, and others some of which are shown below, this is an English surname. It derives from the pre 7th century Old Norse byname 'Skjote' meaning swift, and was presumably a nickname for a fast runner or messenger. In the medieval times when surnames began to be introduced, humour was particularly robust and boisterous, and it is quite possible that a name such as this one may have originally meant the opposite of what it seems to say. It dates back to the mid 12th century, (see below), and early recordings include Nicholas Sket in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire in 1210, and Robert Skeet in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. Other variations of the spelling include the rare Skoate, Skate, Skeete, and Sketh As an example Venelia Sketh, the daughter of John Sketh, was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate in the city of London, on June 14th 1635, whilst William Skeath married Hannah Marson at St. Margaret's Westminster, on April 21st 1640. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Sket. This was dated 1201, in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, during the reign of King John of England (1199 - 1216). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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