This interesting surname is of Scandinavian origin and is a dialectal variant of the name Skeggs, itself from an Old Norse personal name 'Skeggi', and is the first element in placenames Skegby, in Nottinghamshire and Skegness, in Lincolnshire. Skegg is also the Old Norse word, meaning a beard. In this instance Skiggs or Skeggs are the patronymic form (the 's' denoting 'son of'). This surname may have originally been given as a nickname for a man with some peculiarity of the beard, perhaps in colour. The earliest recordings are found in Lincolnshire, where the marauding Vikings left a lasting impression, for example, Elizabeth Skiggs married Robert Cooke on June 25th 1564 at Yarburgh, and Richard Skiggs was christened on January 23rd 1591 at Pinchbeck. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Skegge, which was dated 1379, Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377-1399. 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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