This interesting surname, which also appears as Skotcher, is of Anglo-Norman origin, and is originally from an occupational name for a maker of stilts, deriving from the Old Norman-French "escache", and in the Old French "eschace", meaning a stilt. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Scotcher, Skotcher, Skatcher, Scatcher and Scatchard, latterly came to be used as a nickname for a long legged bird such as a heron, and was subsequently used for a long, thin legged man. A sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, and habits of dress. Among the early recordings in London are the christenings of Anne Scotcher on December 19th 1541 at St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, and of Alice Skotcher on March 5th 1597, at St. Stephen, Coleman Street, and the marriage between William Scotcher and Joyce Redling on October 16th 1643 at St. Nicholas, Cole Abbey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Skacher, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, 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 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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