This unusual English surname recorded in the spellings of Skellan, Skellen, Skellern, Skellion, Skellon, Skellorne and the more usual Skelhorn, is locational. It originates from a now "lost" medieval village called "Scalehorne" or similar, which was probably in the county of Lancashire. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Norse-Viking "skiallr" meaning "noisy" plus the Olde English "horn". If the translation is correct the name describes a former village on a piece of land (horn) projecting into a noisy river. There are a number of places prefixed "Skell", and most refer to a river. Some five thousand British surnames originate from lost locations, and there seems no reason to doubt that this in its various spellings, is one of them. In ancient times it was a normal practice to name a person by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best problematical, and local dialects extremely thick, lead to the development of all the variant spellings of the surname. In this case early recordings taken from authentic church registers include examples such as Ellena Scalehorne, who married Humfredus Pollet at Prestwich, on June 10th 1633, William Skalehorne, who married Sara Ryder at Manchester Cathedral on November 14th 1654, John Skellorne, a witness at Warrington on July 3rd 1661, and another William, this time Skellon, also of Warrington on Octoner 16th 1743. The first church recording is possibly that of Ellen Skealarne, of Flixton, Lancashire, on November 1st 1607. This was during the reign of James 1st of England, and V1th of Scotland, 1603 - 1625.
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