This is an English locational surname. Recorded in several forms including Sketchley and Skechley, it originates from the village of Sketchley near to the town of Hinkley, in the county of Leicestershire. Surprisingly the place name is not recorded in the Dictionary of English Place Names, which is a rare oversight, but the name probably means 'the place of the race track' from the pre 7th century Olde Norse word 'skeit' as found in the place name Hesket, and the Olde English word 'leah' meaning an enclosure in the forest fenced for agriculture. Thje Vikings were very fond of horses and horse racing, and there are at least six places in England whose Norse-Danish origins owe something to the sport of kings. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. In this case even in the 17th century the name is found as far away as Canturbury in Kent, with John Skechley marrying Elizabeth Crosfield in 1678, whilst in 1742, Lewis Sketchley married Hannah Dew at St Georges Chapel, Mayfair, Westminster.
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