This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, later influenced by Norse or Danish settlement, and is a locational surname from any one of the places called Skelton in Cumbria and in Yorkshire, where there are six villages so named. The placename was originally formed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "scylf", meaning shelf, hill, or bank, with "tun", a settlement or enclosure; later Scandinavian influence changed the first element to "Skel". The places in Yorkshire are variously recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Scilton", "Sceltun", and "Scheltone". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname include: Willelmus de Skelton, noted in the 1379 Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, and John Skelton, witness, entered in the Fines Court Rolls of Essex, dated 1410. On November 21st 1615 Margaret Skilton and Robert Jubb were married at Wragby, Yorkshire, and on December 17th 1664 Hanna, daughter of Henry Skilton, was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hamo de Skelton, which was dated circa 1160, in the "Early Yorkshire Charters", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The 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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