This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian origin, and is habitational from a minor place in the West Riding of Yorkshire, near Ripon, also known as Skelden. The placename is derived from the river name "Skell", from the Old Norse "skjallr", meaning "resounding", similar to the Olde English pre 7th Century "sciell", with the same meaning (usually developed into the byname "Sciell(a)"), and the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "dene", from the Olde English "denu", valley; hence "the valley of the river Skell". The surname development since 1594 (see below) includes: Ralph Skeldinge (1603, Yorkshire); Rowland Skeldinge (Lancashire, 1620); Edmund Skeldinge (London, 1640); and Thomas Skelding (Lancashire, 1678). The modern surname can be found as Skelding and Skeldinge. Recorded in the Yorkshire Church Registers are the marriage of Francis Skelding and Jane Elmar on April 28th 1634 at St. Peter's, Leeds, and the christenings of Thomas, son of Francis Skelding, on September 10th 1637 at St. Peter's, Leeds, and of Jane, daughter of Samuel Skelding, on September 4th 1642, also at St. Peter's, Leeds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Skelding, which was dated May 20th 1594, marriage to Anne Blande, at Conistone in Craven, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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