This most interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original placename believed to have been located in Cornwall, with variant spellings Skentelbury, Scantlebury, and Scantleberry, was composed of the Olde English elements "scene", meaning bright, beautiful, plus the second element "burg, burh", a common placename element usually denoting a "fortified place or fort", which suggests that our early ancestors were not entirely with aesthetic appreciation of the landscape.At Dunloe, Cornwall, one Paschol, son of Paschol and Epiphenie Skentelbury, was christened on April 18th 1619, while one Thomas Skentlebery was christened at Morval, Cornwall on November 17th 1741. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Scantlebury, which was dated March 11th 1610, christening witness at St. Gerrans, Cornwall, during the reign of King James 1st 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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