Recorded in several spellings including Skellett, Skillett, Skillitt, Skullett, and even Skyllett, this is an English surname. It is pre medieval and occupational and describes a skilled person, a maker of skillets, or small frying pans. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Norse-Viking word 'skele' meaning a bucket, with a skelet in effect meaning a small bucket. Job descriptive surnames originally only became hereditary, if and when a son followed his father into the same line of business. This surname is early 14th century as shown below, whilst recordings from surviving, but later church registers from the city of London include: Elisabethe Skullett who married Randal Hatton on January 27th 1555 at St. Margaret's Westminster, and Susan, the daughter of Richard Skyllett who was christened on January 25th 1589 at St. Giles Cripplegate. Other examples taken at random are Alice, the daughter of John and Anne Skillett, who was christened in February 1703 at St. Botolph's without Aldgate, and Sarah Skellett who married Georg Bollard at Lincolns Inn Chapel, on June 15th 1710. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Skelete. This was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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