This surname of Northern English origin, derives from the Old Norse byname 'Skjote' meaning 'Swift'. It can also mean 'son of Sket', Sket being a prominent spelling in Norfolk and Suffolk. It dates back to the mid 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Nicholas Sket (1201) 'The Pipe Rolls of Shropshire', and Robert Skeet (1327) 'The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk'. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Skeats, Skett, Skoate, Skate, Skeete, Sketh, etc.. One Venelia Sketh, daughter of John, was christened at St.Giles, Cripplegate, London, on June 14th 1635. William Skeath married Han Marson at St. Margaret, Westminster, on April 21st 1640. One William Skeath married Elizabeth Boardman at Huyton by Roby in Lancashire on May 13th 1681. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Sket, which was dated 1201, in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'Builder of Churches', 1154 - 1189. 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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