This is a very rare surname first recorded in the city of Liverpool in the late 19th century but not found anywhere else in the world. It is possibly a dialectal of the popular surnames Skilling, Skillin, and Skellen, of pre 7th century Norse-Viking origins. Skilling and its variants are popular in Lancashire and Northern Ireland, especifically County Down, all areas originally under Viking control one thousand years ago. The origins are confused but it may be locational from a place such as Skillion in the Isle of Man, or Skillington in Yorkshire, the place of the Scela people. Scela has the literal meaning of summer, and may have been given as a baptismal name somebody born on Mid Summers Day. It is unclear as to when the surname was first recorded, but early examples taken from surviving church registers include Ales Skillington of Childwall in Lancashire on July 8th 1583 during the reign of Queen Eliabeth 1st (1558 - 1603), John Skillinge of Rochdale, Lancashire, on October 5th 1617, Jane Skillen who married William Harrison at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, city of London, on April 4th 1683, Janet Skillen who married William Geddes at Santfield, County Down, Ireland, on April 12th 1742, and Joseph Skillanders of Liverpool, in the census record of that city 1894. This is the only known pre 20th century recording known. 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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