Recorded in various spellings throughout Northern Europe including: Scough, Skough, Skoof, Skoogh, Skoughman, and probably others, this is a Scandanavian-Viking, and apparently particularly Swedish, surname of ancient origins. It is believed to derive from the pre 7th century word 'skogr', meaning a wood, and as such is cognate with the English surname of Shaw or Shawe. This suggests that it is either topographical for a person who lived by a wood, or it is locational from a place called Skou, Skog, or Skough. Unlike Denmark and Norway where surnames are predominately patronymics, Swedish are more diverse, and topographical surnames, which is to say that their surnames that have a strong relation to natural features in the countryside, and as a type are as popular as in Britain and other Eurpean countries. However Sweden, as in most parts of Scandanavia was very late in adopting fixed hereditary spellings for their surnames. This was because in the very small and scattered communities of Scandanavia, upto as late as the 20th century, there was little need for bureaucracy, everybody knew each other! However we have been able to obtain a number of relatively early recordings. These include: Maria Scoff, who married Cornelius Besemer at Ouderkerker, Zuid Holland, in The Netherlands, on July 1st 1694, Lars and Hellena Skough, whose son also called Lars, was christened at Gefle, Sweden, on May 15th 1721, and Paulus Skoof, the daughter of Flori Skoof, christened at Krimpen Ann De Lek, Zuid Holland, on March 15th 1819.
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